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June 2021 | Volume 12 | Issue 1

TRUITT

INSURANCE & BONDING

HOME & AUTO • BUSINESS • LIFE • SURETY THEHOMEWOODSTAR.COM

‘Mr. Homewood’

HOMEWOOD’S COMMUNITY NEWS SOURCE

(205)254-3005 | truittinsurance.com

The adventures of XVI

Truman Parrott, a former history teacher at Homewood Junior High School for more than 30 years, leaves a legacy of bringing history to life.

See page A17

Deep Dive

Overcoming fears through reflection and art, Phoebe Reed’s work named Best in Show of Homewood Public Library’s student art contest.

See page B16

INSIDE Sponsors .......... A4 News ..................A6 Business ............A9 Events .............. A16 Life.................... A17

Sports.................B4 Schoolhouse......B8 Community...... B16 Opinion..............B17 Calendar........... B18

Oz, Xander and Allie Harrison Imaghodor celebrate the new playground communication board at Homewood Central Park. The Imaghodors created a nonprofit organization in Xander’s name, called XVI, to provide advocacy and navigation to families who encounter childhood developmental journeys similar to theirs. Photo by Ingrid Schnader.

Homewood family creates nonprofit to advocate for developmental resources

A

By INGRID SCHNADER pregnancy is typically 40 weeks, but Homewood residents Allie Harrison and Oz Imaghodor had their son Xander at 23 weeks. Getting through those next few months at the hospital was difficult, but new challenges awaited them after they brought Xander home.

Xander was rejected from early intervention programs because he wasn’t “delayed enough,” Allie said. They saw Xander face biases because of his developmental delays. The Imaghodors had to spend countless hours researching Xander’s best options. They created a nonprofit organization in Xander’s name, called XVI, to provide advocacy and navigation to families who encounter journeys similar to theirs. The organization

can provide financial assistance for specialized therapies and evaluations, resource assistance, assistance with paperwork, help with transportation and more. It received its 501(c)(3) designation earlier in 2021.

XANDER’S BIRTH

Allie was 20 weeks pregnant with Xander

See XVI | page A2O

Proposed townhome development revives a familiar struggle for Rosedale residents

facebook.com/thehomewoodstar

By INGRID SCHNADER

Marlene Burnett, left, and her mother, Christine McKnight, discuss how their Rosedale neighborhood has changed while sitting on their front porch May 12. A four-story bank building backs up to their property. Photo by Ingrid Schnader.

When a townhome development on 18th Street moved forward with the Homewood City Council in January, many Rosedale residents spoke in opposition to the development. Most of those in opposition didn’t say that they thought the development

looked bad or that they thought the development would bring too much traffic, which are often reasons why a resident might speak against a development. In Rosedale, residents have spent decades watching their historically Black community shrink and change

See ROSEDALE | page A22

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A2 • June 2021

The Homewood Star


TheHomewoodStar.com

June 2021 • A3

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The Homewood Star

A4 • June 2021

About Us Editor’s Note By Ingrid Schnader June is the year’s halfway point. This one is seeming to go a lot more quickly than 2020! There’s just been much more to look forward to this year compared to last year. Last June, I felt a sense of doom because of the pandemic. This June, I feel a sense of hope and happiness. June’s also a good time to check on the goals you set for the year. For your quantitative goals, have you hit the halfway point? For habit-based goals, have you stuck to them or given up? I’m doing much better on my reading goal this year, mostly thanks to the help of audiobooks. As of this writing, I’m seven books ahead of schedule — woohoo! My favorite one so far is “Into Thin Air” by Jon Krakauer. I never felt compelled to climb Mt. Everest, but now I’m

definitely not doing that. Thanks to a couple rounds of stimulus checks, I’m looking good on my savings goal for the year so far, too. I haven’t quite decided what I’m saving up for yet, though. The fun part of my brain wants to go on a trip to Paris someday (I’ve left the

country before, but I’ve never been to Europe). The practical side of my brain knows I need to eventually save for a down payment on a house so I don’t pay rent forever. Setting goals drives me. I keep them practical and within reach so I don’t get discouraged, but they’re difficult enough that I can give myself a well-deserved pat on the back when I make progress. It’s fun to have something to work toward. Can reading an entire issue of The Homewood Star cover to cover count toward your reading goal? I think it should. Either way, enjoy the issue!

PHOTO OF THE MONTH

Quinn Lott, 3, left, and Emmie James Scroggins, 5, eat ice cream as they wait to ride a swing carnival ride at the We Love Homewood Day festival May 1 at Homewood Central Park. Photo by Erin Nelson.

Publisher: Dan Starnes Managing Editor: Nick Patterson Community Editors: Ingrid Schnader Jon Anderson Jesse Chambers Leah Ingram Eagle Neal Embry Sports Editor: Kyle Parmley Design Editor: Melanie Viering Photo Editor: Erin Nelson Page Designers: Kristin Williams Ted Perry Account Managers: Layton Dudley Ted Perry Content Marketing Manager: Erica Brock Graphic Designer: Emily VanderMey Senior Business Development Exec.: Michelle Salem Haynes Business Development Exec.: Don Harris Jarrett Tyus Client Success Specialist: Anna Bain Marketing Consultants: Warren Caldwell Kentevious Forehand Stacie Hatcher Hazen Hoagland Business Administrator: Anna Jackson

For advertising contact: dan@starnesmedia.com Contact Information: Homewood Star P.O. Box 530341 Birmingham, AL 35253 (205) 313-1780 dan@starnesmedia.com

Please submit all articles, information and photos to: ischnader@starnesmedia.com P.O. Box 530341 Birmingham, AL 35253

Published by: The Homewood Star LLC Legals: The Homewood Star is published monthly. Reproduction or use of editorial or graphic content without prior permission is prohibited. The Homewood Star is designed to inform the Homewood community of area school, family and community events. Information in The Homewood Star is gathered from sources considered reliable but the accuracy cannot be guaranteed. All articles/photos submitted become the property of The Homewood Star. We reserve the right to edit articles/photos as deemed necessary and are under no obligation to publish or return photos submitted. Inaccuracies or errors should be brought to the attention of the publisher at (205) 313-1780 or by email. Please recycle this paper.

Please Support Our Community Partners Alabama Goods (B11) Alabama Power (B2) All of Us UAB Research Study (A3) Bedzzz Express (B1, B20) Bromberg’s & Company Inc. (B10) Bug Cowboy’s Pest Solutions (A12) Byars-Wright Insurance (B5) Cardinal Roofing (B13) Children’s of Alabama (B6) Clayton Browne Orthodontics (B11) Clearview Strategy Partners (B15) Closets by Design (A13) Cremation Center of Birmingham (B17) ENT Associates of Alabama (A17) First Lenders Mortgage Corp. (B10) French Drains Pro (A18) Green Springs Animal Clinic (B7) HomeRN (B4) Homewood Family and Cosmetic Dentistry (A19) Homewood Parks and Rec (B19) Iron Tribe Fitness (B3) Issis & Sons (A16) Jefferson County Commission (B7) Johnny Montgomery, ERA King (B6) Kete Cannon, ARC Realty (A7) LIST Birmingham (A24) One Man and a Toolbox (A18) Oxmoor Valley Orthodontics (B5) Piggly Wiggly (A14) Publix (A23) Renew Dermatology (A2) Shades Creek Dental (A5) Sikes Children’s Shoes (A12) SOHO Social (B4) Southern Coin & Collectibles (A7) Southern Home Structural Repair Specialists (B8) SouthState Bank (A6) The Harbor at Lay Lake (B1) The Welch Group (A11) Thomas Andrew Art (B8) Truitt Insurance & Bonding (A1) TrustCare Urgent Care (B17) TrustMark Bank (A21) Village Dermatology (A9) Vulcan Termite & Pest Control (A1) Wehby Facial & Dental Aesthetics (A8) West Homewood Farmers Market (A8) Window World of Central Alabama (A15) Worx Birmingham (A17)

Find Us Pick up the latest issue of Homewood Star at the following locations: ► Alabama Outdoors ► aloft – SoHo Square ► Homewood Board of Education ► Dave’s Pizza ► Edgar’s Bakery ► Homewood Chamber of Commerce ► Homewood Family Dentistry ► Homewood High School ► Homewood Public Library ► Nabeel’s Cafe and Market ► New York Pizza

► O’Henry’s Coffees ► Piggly Wiggly ► Homewood Police Department ► Sam’s Super Samwiches ► Savage’s Bakery ► Single Barrel Barbershop ► Taco Mama - Edgewood Want to join this list or get Homewood Star mailed to your home? Contact Anna Jackson at ajackson@starnesmedia.com.


TheHomewoodStar.com

June 2021 • A5

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The Homewood Star

A6 • June 2021

City Council, Ed’s Pet World fail to reach construction agreement By INGRID SCHNADER In efforts to acquire temporary use of property to build sidewalks and add public parking downtown, the Homewood City Council was unable to reach an agreement with the owners of Ed’s Pet World at 2730 18th St. S. “I had expected to get a proposal from them [Ed’s Pet World] last week,” City Attorney Mike Kendrick said at the April 26 council meeting. “I received one this afternoon, late, and it’s not really what we ever talked about.” This project is part of the city’s efforts to revitalize 18th Street and make a “complete street” with sidewalks, landscaping, lighting and public parking. The Ed’s Pet World street renovations would add about two or three additional parking spaces, including one accessible parking space, Council President Alex Wyatt said. The project would not take away or invade the property, Kendrick said. “We’re just simply asking their permission and authorization to allow us to build the sidewalks on the city’s property.” Kendrick proposed a resolution to continue to negotiate with the Ed’s Pet World owners, and if an agreement cannot be reached, to then authorize condemnation for temporary construction easements for the property. The condemnation would be temporary, allowing the city to work on the pet store’s property, and then the land would go back to the owner. “And we have to put it back in substantially the same or better condition,” Kendrick said. “It’s a very normal process when you’re building a public improvement project on our right of way. But in order to build that properly and safely, we have to have some time where we’re on private property to properly construct the sidewalks.”

Ed’s Pet World and the Homewood Barber Shop are seen on 18th Street in downtown Homewood. Photo by Erin Nelson.

The council passed Kendrick’s proposed resolution 9-0, which will allow Kendrick to continue negotiations. Wyatt clarified that the property will not be temporarily condemned if an agreement is met. “I think everyone’s hope is that’s what will happen — that these negotiations will continue and will be fruitful,” he said. “But if not, this is a step that can be taken temporarily.” Kendrick said he has been in contact with

property owners on 18th Street throughout the month in regard to this project. Another property that was still in negotiations with the city is Homewood Barbershop. These negotiations have made progress, Kendrick said at the April 26 meeting, but there were some terms that still need to be worked out. At the May 10 meeting, it was announced an agreement had been signed by the barbershop and was to be considered at the May 24 meeting.

Also at the meeting, Rep. David Faulkner presented a governor’s proclamation that commended Demetri’s BBQ and was signed by Gov. Kay Ivey. The restaurant is now recognized as the oldest restaurant in Homewood continuously operated by the same family, Faulkner read from the proclamation. “It continues to have the warm welcome from the Nakos family that was introduced 60 years ago,” he said.

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TheHomewoodStar.com

June 2021 • A7

Alabama’s #1 Source for Gold and Silver

The Homewood City Council approved a fence variance for this house on Lake Ridge Road during its May 10 meeting. The fence was already installed at the time of the request, which some councilors said they worried would set a precedent. Screenshot by Ingrid Schnader.

Council approves variance for preexisting front yard fence By INGRID SCHNADER Front yard fences aren’t allowed in Homewood. Exceptions can be made for residents who request a variance, but these are typically granted to special situations. At the May 10 Homewood City Council meeting, the council considered and approved a fence variance request with a different background: the fence was already installed at the home, which was on Lake Ridge Road, and the landscaping company had overlooked the need to get a permit and request a variance before installing the fence. The council almost didn’t approve the fence variance. During the council’s first vote, it failed 8-3. When Ward 2 Councilor Andrew Wolverton made a motion to approve the variance request with the condition that it be taken down when the homeowners move, the variance passed 6-5. Bryant Naile of Father Nature Landscapes of Birmingham said he is part of the team that designed and had the fence built. When asked why he didn’t request a permit, Naile said it was an oversight. “With the workload we’ve had over the course of the past 12 months with COVID[19] and everything, I failed to dot I’s and cross T’s, and this didn’t go through the permitting process” Naile said. “But as I explained to Mr. [Wyatt] Pugh, there was never any intent to purposefully avoid that.” The now-fenced-in front yard is the only “usable” place for children living in the home to play, Naile said. Behind the house, the property slopes downward in a steep, wooded hill. Ward 4 Councilor Barry Smith, who also chairs the Special Issues Committee, said she sees many fence variance requests denied because they don’t have a legitimate hardship. “Typically, when we grant front yard fence variances, it’s because someone has a special

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needs child or a large, steep hill from the front of their house to the street,” she said. “It’s always a very good reason. And people have come before us before to request front yard fence variances, and we have denied them, and they went through the process in the right way. So to me, it’s hard to justify granting a variance in arrears just because of a mistake. That doesn’t float well with me, because I’m going to have people coming to my committee and saying, ‘Oh, I just didn’t know, and we did it anyway. I’m so sorry. Can we get a variance?’” Not following proper procedures puts the council in a predicament and could open a “pandora’s box” for future dilemmas, Ward 2 Councilor Andrew Wolverton said. Also at the meeting, the council delayed a public hearing to consider changes to the landscaping and tree requirements. According to Ward 5 Councilor Jennifer Andress, this is because the city filled the city engineer position with Cale Smith, and she said Smith wanted to take time to study the ordinance further. The council also authorized the mayor to sign a contract with Placemakers in regard to the downtown rezoning ordinance, which is returning to the council after a year of being tabled.

Let us help spread the news! Email ischnader@starnesmedia.com to submit your announcement.

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The Homewood Star

A8 • June 2021

Commission sends zoning Litter Gitter has successful 1st year ordinance back to council By INGRID SCHNADER

By INGRID SCHNADER The Heart of Homewood Downtown Rezoning Master Plan is going back to the Homewood City Council. Discussion about this controversial plan has been delayed for more than a year after the Homewood Planning Commission voted at its Feb. 4, 2020, meeting to table the discussion. The item reappeared on the Planning Commission agenda at its May 4 meeting, and the commission voted 5-3 to send it back to the council. The council will refer the item to the Planning and Development Committee, said Committee Chair Jennifer Andress. While the item is in committees, the city will schedule multiple public forums, she said. There will also be a public Boundaries of the proposed zoning districts are as shown hearing once the item is on on this Downtown Homewood Zoning map. Map courtesy of city of Homewood. the council agenda. Currently, downtown Homewood has 13 different zoning districts, and the downtown meeting, the lot lines were resurveyed at 185 rezoning plan brings that number down to and 195 Oxmoor Road, which will allow the three: high-intensity, medium-intensity and owner to tear down the former Waffle House low-intensity districts. Homewood residents in building and construct a new retail developopposition of the new zoning have expressed ment on the other side of the property. There concerns about changes to building heights, will be space for about 40 parking spaces, he lack of parking and the need for a traffic study. said. When asked what building would be conMore information about the plan is available structed there, the owner said it would be at heartofhomewoodplan.com. Also at the May 4 Planning Commission something that fits the district.

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After one year of being installed at Griffin Brook off Broadway Street, the Litter Gitter litter collection device has collected hundreds of pounds of trash and recyclables. A total of 112.12 pounds of material collected from the Litter Gitter were recycled, and a total of 332.31 pounds of trash were disposed of from the Litter Gitter. This data was collected from the second quarter of 2020 to the first quarter of 2021. About one quarter of the materials collected were recycled. The Litter Gitter was first installed May 27, 2020, in Griffin Brook. Then, a second Litter Gitter was installed in Homewood near Brookwood Village. This data only looks at Griffin Brook’s Litter Gitter. The Litter Gitter is an in-stream litter collection device developed by Osprey Initiative. It traps litter in a cage-like device without disturbing the stream’s marine wildlife.

It gives you a sense of pride for the community around you and ultimately the world.

SALLY SPERLING

“I think it’s incredible,” said Sally Sperling, the outreach and communications coordinator with Freshwater Land Trust. “It’s beyond the simple act of picking up a piece of trash. It’s investing in your community; it’s showing that you care and that you want your area and the world to be beautiful. It gives you a sense of pride for the community around you and ultimately the world.” Learn more about the device at osprey. world.

LITTER GITTER COLLECTION AT GRIFFIN BROOK

SOURCE: SALLY SPERLING


TheHomewoodStar.com

June 2021 • A9

Business

Above: Pebblehurst Golf and Putter Lab owner Ron Smith hits a golf ball with a 7 iron with the in-store golf simulator. Left: Smith inside his shop, which also sells clothing, accessories and gear. Photos by Ingrid Schnader.

Pebblehurst golf shop opens on Linden Avenue By INGRID SCHNADER Downtown Homewood saw the opening of a new golf retailer in April. Pebblehurst Golf and Putter Lab is a one-stop shop for everything golf, owner Ron Smith said. Smith is an Edgewood resident and said opening his own golf store has been a lifelong dream. “Growing up playing golf and playing competitively, all of my friends wanted to be professional golfers, and I wanted to open my own golf shop,” he said. He didn’t want it to be like any other golf shop, though. He said he wanted it to be different in terms of what was offered and how it was presented. The store’s location at 2915 Linden Ave. is a former bridal store, meaning Smith was able to take advantage of clean, white decor and windows that bring in a lot of natural light. He describes his store as one that

has an upscale look and feel. His store also offers about a dozen products that no other stores in the area offer, he said. One Japanese brand, Fujimoto, chose Pebblehurst as its first account in the United States. “A lot of this stuff you can either only buy directly from the manufacturer or from me,” he said. Smith only sells products he believes in, he said. “Sometimes it bites me in the butt, but sometimes I’m too honest, and it’s hard for me to sell something that I don’t believe is the best product out there,” he said. The shop will “focus heavily” on custom fittings, he said. It will also offer private lessons from a PGA-certified trainer. An in-store golf simulator gives customers a chance to try the products before they buy, and Smith also installed a nine-hole putting green outside of the store.

Pebblehurst Golf and Putter Lab • WHERE: 2915 Linden Ave. • HOURS: 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday; 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Friday; 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday; closed Sunday • WEB: facebook.com/pebblehurst

The shop sells clothing, accessories and gear. Most of the in-store merchandise is for men, but Smith said he can order women’s products. He also plans to expand the store’s children’s merchandise and lessons, he said. “It would make me proud to be able to get

some kids into the game because of this being here,” he said. Smith has been playing golf since he could walk when his grandfather got him into the sport, he said. His favorite part about golf now is being out on the course, especially when his family is with him, including his wife, Shelly, and two children, Amelia, 3, and Jackson, 6. “It’s four hours with us in a cart together,” he said. “It’s just a great game. … And with golf, you can play until the day you die. I just truly love the game.” The shop is named after two memorable trips Smith took with his grandfather: one to Pebble Beach and the other to Pinehurst. As a way to dedicate the shop to the man who got him into the sport, he combined the names of the two locations into Pebblehurst. For more information, visit facebook.com/ pebblehurst.


The Homewood Star

A10 • June 2021

Finding value in scraps Birmingham start-up creates new business from composting By JESSE CHAMBERS The ancient art of composting, which was greatly refined in the 20th century, allows us to avoid tossing potentially valuable organic material — examples include food scraps, leaves and grass clippings — into landfills or incinerators. “Rather than see those resources be wasted, we take that material and create a natural, biologically rich soil amendment that can be used on farms and in gardens to grow healthy food,” said Matt Nesbitt, co-founder of a Birmingham start-up called Field Culture Compost. Nesbitt and co-owner Alex Thompson founded Field Culture Compost in February 2020, and the company is now signing up individuals, businesses and government organizations that wish to take advantage of its residential and commercial compost services. Field Culture Compost converts fruit and vegetable scraps, meat, bones, fish products, cooked foods, eggshells, unbleached paper towels and household plants into “well-made, living compost for farms, home and neighborhood gardens, as well as landscapers,” said Nesbitt, who also serves as the company’s primary spokesperson. “Our residential compost pickup subscription has been doing very well,” Nesbitt said. The company’s service areas currently include Homewood and parts of Birmingham and Hoover. “Mountain Brook is one of our newest service areas,” Nesbitt said. The start-up is also building its own 6-acre composting facility in Bessemer. Field Culture Compost is part of a growing trend in America, Nesbitt said. “In the past few years, the number of pick-up services nationwide has skyrocketed nationwide,” he said. “Few people have the time or space to compost, and backyard bins don’t break compostable items down quickly enough or may attract small pests.” In addition to growing in popularity with consumers, composting is now required in some parts of the country, Nesbitt said. “As yard waste and food waste bans continue to become the standard, communities are looking for better ways to deal with waste,” he said. There are approximately 3,500 municipal composting facilities nationwide, with over 200 communities instituting residential food-scrap collection programs, he said. His statements are supported by a composting report released in 2019 by the nonprofit U.S. PIRG (Public Interest Research Group). According to the report, the number of communities offering composting programs had grown by 65 percent in five years. Landfills themselves are also “a growing point of contention in Alabama due to their negative impact on the economic, physical and overall well-being of surrounding communities,” Nesbitt said. The company’s new facility in Bessemer, which should be open in mid-2021, will give Field Culture Compost the opportunity to service large-scale producers of organic materials. Those producers “will now have the facilities needed to ‘do better’ by diverting their materials away from landfills,” Nesbitt said. Nesbitt attended Lambuth University in Jackson, Tennessee, worked on organic farms in Alabama, Georgia and the United Kingdom and, in 2019, completed a training course offered by the U.S. Composting Council. Thompson earned a bachelor’s degree in biology at the University of Alabama, worked with the nonprofit Cocoa Farming Future Initiative in the West Indies and earned a master’s degree in public health at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Field Culture Compost was the winner of

Above: Matt Nesbitt, left, and Alex Thompson co-founded Field Culture Compost, a community scale composting company. Below: Field Culture Compost converts fruit and vegetable scraps, meat, bones, fish products, cooked foods, eggshells, unbleached paper towels and household plants into compost for farmers, gardeners and landscapers. Field Culture Compost also offers a residential and commercial compost pickup subscription to collect kitchen scraps and other compostable items. Photos courtesy of Field Culture Compost.

What can be composted? ► Fruit and vegetable scraps ► Coffee grounds ► Tea bags (if made with natural materials; no staples) ► Loose leaf tea ► Soy, rice, almond or coconut milk ► Cooked rice or pasta ► Flowers ► Leaves trimmed from houseplants ► Pits from fruit ► Eggshells ► Yard waste (dead leaves, small branches, etc.)

the $50,000 concept stage award at the annual Virtual Launchpad competition in June 2020, sponsored by the Economic Development Partnership of Alabama. The company is poised to become Alabama’s first commercial compost producer, according to the Alabama Launchpad website. “These are two startups with high-growth potential who also offer innovative solutions in their respective sectors,” said EDPA Innovation

► Sawdust or wood chips from untreated wood ► Uncoated paper products (ripped up) ► Dry cereal and breads ► Nut shells ► Oatmeal ► 100% cotton balls ► Uncoated cardboard (ripped up) ► Wine corks ► Fish, meat and whole eggs ► Dairy products SOURCE: FIELDCULTURECOMPOST.COM

Consultant Dennis Leonard, referring to Field Culture Compost and Moxie, a Birmingham tech firm that won $100,000 in the competition. The financial boost was not the only benefit Field Culture Compost gained from the Virtual Launchpad competition, Nesbitt said. “It forced us to ask ourselves some hard questions, do some hard work and solicit some much needed guidance from our advisors,” he said. Field Culture Compost also took part in the

12-week Velocity Cohort 2021 at the Innovation Depot business incubator downtown. “For us, it has given an excellent opportunity to really work on our business,” Nesbitt said. “Through guidance and mentorship, from the people and resources provided to us from Innovation Depot, we are really getting down to the nuts and bolts and making sure that Field Culture Compost is and will continue to be successful.” It has also been invaluable for the Field Culture Compost founders to network with other founders of startups. “Just being able to talk through ideas with someone who was once in your shoes has been incredible,” Nesbitt said. “The conversations around raising capital and customer acquisition have been the most helpful so far.” Field Culture Compost has also appeared at events, including Birdsong Farmers Market in Lakeview in April, and hopes to return to Birdsong this summer. The company typically sells compost and offers its bucket exchange program. “For a small fee, we provide you with a bin, and every week you can bring us your collected food scraps and get a clean bucket,” Nesbitt said. To sign up for residential or commercial composting pickup, go to fieldculturecompost.com. The company is also found on Facebook @FieldCultureCompost and Instagram @field_culture_compost.


TheHomewoodStar.com

June 2021 • A11

Meals by Misty, Rolls, The Cottage Basket at home in Homewood

Misty Westover, left, has opened a Homewood location of her takeand-bake business, Meals by Misty, along with Katie Cornutt, far left, owner of Rolls, which sells fresh-baked and frozen pans of specialty rolls, at a joint storefront located at 2900 Crescent Ave. in Homewood, below. Photos by Ingrid Schnader.

By INGRID SCHNADER Three small businesses have found new homes in Homewood this spring. The building at 2900 Crescent Ave. now houses one business called Rolls and another called Meals by Misty. Rolls sells fresh-baked and frozen pans of cinnamon rolls in addition to specialty rolls, such as pizza rolls and garlic yeast rolls. Meals by Misty offers take-and-bake casseroles, soups, salads and an array of side dishes. Rolls started out as an online-only business, and in 2020, owner Katie Cornutt partnered with Shelli Morrow, owner of The Cottage Basket, and began selling frozen pans at Morrow’s store. The Cottage Basket also found a new home this spring and now operates at the former NeedCo showroom on 18th Street. The Cottage Basket is a destination for those shopping for gifts, accessories, home items, kids and baby items and more. Owner Shelli Morrow said she is excited for a larger space for the store. Meals by Misty owner Misty Westover started her business in Trussville after the birth of her children. In the beginning, she operated out of her home with the intention to just sell to other moms in the neighborhood. She quickly outgrew the space, though, and people were lining up down her driveway to grab one of her dishes. “I started off making 10 casseroles that first week, and then it was 30,” she said. “Then it went to 50, 80, then 100, and within a couple of months, I was making 120 to 150 meals. It

The Cottage Basket • WHERE: 2901 18th St. S. • DETAILS: Gift shop for with accessories, home items, kids and baby items and more • WEB: thecottagebasket.com

Rolls and Meals by Misty • WHERE: Sharing a location at 2900 Crescent Ave. • DETAILS: Rolls sells fresh-baked and frozen pans of cinnamon rolls in addition to specialty rolls such as pizza rolls and garlic yeast rolls. Meals by Misty sells take-and-bake casseroles, soups, salads and an array of side dishes • WEB: rolls-homewood.myshopify. com and mealsbymisty.com

was crazy.” Her business started out with lasagna, Chicken Poppy, chicken salad, pimento cheese and other items. She opened her first

storefront in Trussville in the spring of 2018, and from the beginning, customers encouraged her to open an additional storefront in another city in the Birmingham metro area. Then Westover met Cornutt and instantly liked her. They have a lot in common, and they both started their businesses as stay-at-home moms. Westover began selling Cornutt’s rolls at her Trussville store. “I’ve been planting the seed in her head that we needed a store,” Westover said. “A few months pass, and every time she came in the store, I said, ‘We’re going to do this.’”

They found the spot in Homewood, which was previously Edgewood Catering, and had grand opening celebrations in March. Westover said she enjoys cooking because it’s like therapy for her. When she goes two or three days without cooking, her stress is “off the charts,” she said. “I can go in there, turn up my music and make something, and within a few minutes, I’m like, ‘I’m good now,” she said. “It’s always been my go-to thing to help me with whatever. … In there with my music and my people, it’s where I want to be.”

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The Homewood Star

A12 • June 2021

Homewood cake business opening new storefront in Mountain Brook By INGRID SCHNADER A specialty cake baking company is soon getting its first brick-andmortar location. Mallory Webb, owner of Daughters Baking, had been baking cakes in the kitchen at Yellow Bicycle Catering Co. in Homewood. This summer, she plans to open a storefront in Mountain Brook Village. She started baking right before graduating from Samford University in 2013. Then when she got a job at Urban Standard after college, she had more freedom to experiment in the kitchen. She spent time studying the art of baking foods like croissants, puff pastries, pies and more. When she landed on cakes, she found something she really enjoyed. “I made a few cakes in the back and served them in slices at Urban,” she said. “They didn’t sell super well, because they’re a different kind of product than what Urban usually sells. But the people who did buy the cakes were so encouraging and were like, ‘This is amazing!’” Webb’s goal is to make the cakes moist, so they’re soaked in a sweet liquid mixture. Her cakes are tall and “naked,” which means the cake is nearly bare on the outside instead of covered in icing. Each cake has four components: cake, buttercream icing, a filling and something crunchy on top. She likes this style of cake because it’s “playful,” she said, and she didn’t enjoy baking more traditional cakes in previous years. “Obviously it takes skill and focus, but this style is a bit more fun than other styles,” she said. Cakes come in three sizes: a 3-inch

Employees with Daughters Baking, a specialty cake company, create layered, “naked”-style cakes in the Yellow Bicycle Catering Co. in Homewood. The company will open its first storefront this summer in Mountain Brook Village. Photos courtesy of Emma Joganic.

mini cake, which serves two to four people; a 6-inch cake, which serves 16-20 people; and a 9-inch cake, which serves 30-35 people. Flavors listed on the website include blueberry lemon, classic chocolate, bananas foster, carrot, lavender honey, Reese’s peanut butter and more. Her first wedding cake was for her brother’s wedding four years ago. A lot has changed since then, she said — now she has six employees, and she said she has enjoyed learning how to build a team and a culture. “I’ve really enjoyed cultivating a positive work environment and

growing into that,” she said. “I’ve made lots of mistakes. When you lead people, things become stressful sometimes. I’m learning how to navigate stressful situations in a way that you can still communicate clearly and in a way that benefits people.” When brainstorming ideas for a business name, the word “daughters” kept coming to mind, she said. “I think that word meant a lot to me in terms of the way I relate to God,” she said. “It’s something that’s really important to me.” Her new storefront will be at 2812 Cahaba Road, which is to the left

of Bromberg’s and right of Ousler Sandwiches in Mountain Brook. Webb said she anticipates a July opening. “It has been a dream of ours for a while to have a beautiful space that is easily accessible to our customers, where we can accommodate walk-in and last-minute orders, as well as expand our products and offerings,” the company said in an Instagram post. “We are so happy that this dream is becoming a reality, and we can’t wait for you to experience the fruit of it.” For more information, visit daughtersbaking.com.

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TheHomewoodStar.com

June 2021 • A13

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Dr. Harold Wehby has been in dentistry for about 50 years and opened in January his new practice, Wehby Facial & Dental Aesthetics, at 3351 Old Montgomery Highway, Suite 202. Photos by Ingrid Schnader.

Veteran dentist opens new practice in Homewood By INGRID SCHNADER A new facial and dental aesthetics practice opened this year in Homewood, offering clients services for a complete face. Dr. Harold Wehby has been in dentistry for about 50 years. He took a step back in 2004, but when rules changed to allow dentists to offer botox and sleep apnea services, he came back. In 2019, Wehby began taking classes with the American Dr. Harold Wehby demonstrates where he would inject Botox Academy of Facial Esthet- on a patient at his new office in Homewood. ics online and received his certification. When he found the perfect office to start his new practice at the beginning of 2020, though, the COVID-19 pandemic forced him to delay Wehby Facial & Dental his opening. Finally, in January of this year, he Aesthetics opened Wehby Facial & Dental Aesthetics at 3351 Old Montgomery Highway, Suite 202. • WHERE: 3351 Old Montgomery “It took a while to get everything done, but it Highway, Suite 202 came out really nice and comfortable,” he said, • HOURS: Monday through Thursday, describing his new location in Homewood. “It’s 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Friday 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. more of a spa atmosphere, like a meditation • SERVICES: Exams, cosmetic denatmosphere. You can tell it’s relaxed.” tistry, sleep apnea relief, teeth grinding, His practice offers multiple services, and bruxism, Botox, crowns and bridges Wehby said this is why he got back into den• CALL: 205-637-6018 tistry. In addition to cosmetic dentistry — such • WEB: wehbydental.com as teeth whitening, implants and veneers — he now offers botox and dermal fillers and provides relief for sleep apnea and teeth grinding. “Dentists are uniquely suited for providing Many of those diagnosed with sleep apnea use a CPAP machine to breathe more easily Botox and dermal filler treatment,” his website during sleep, but Wehby said some dislike reads. “They are skilled at assessing the balance wearing the mask. Wehby fits patients for an and overall aesthetics of the face and have had oral appliance that brings the jaw forward to extensive training in the anatomy of the head and neck.” keep the airway open during sleep. He also offers routine dental exams, teeth Other clients come in suffering from pain because they grind their teeth. Many dentists cleaning, fillings, crowns and bridges. Wehby’s will make a night guard for their clients so they mission is to make the teeth, face, lips and smile don’t clench their teeth, but as soon as the client go hand in hand, he said. He works on one patient at a time, he said. removes the night guard in the morning, they still haven’t fixed their problem, which is their He typically has one-on-one meetings with new bite. Wehby can inject botox into the jaw mus- patients to discuss the patient’s goals, dental cles and then manipulate the jaw muscles to get history and more. “It really works well for the patient,” he said. them in better alignment. For those who want to eliminate facial wrin- “It’s not like they come in and say ‘Well I just kles, Wehby offers Botox, which is injected into want this done today.’ I don’t do that. I want to the facial muscles and blocks the nerve trans- get a complete mouth and facial evaluation done.” Visit wehbydental.com for more information mission to those muscles, and he also offers dermal fillers, which are smooth injectable gels. or to make an appointment online.

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The Homewood Star

A14 • June 2021

Cahaba Cycles goes mobile with service van By INGRID SCHNADER There’s a new way to get a tune up for your bike. Beginning this summer, Cahaba Cycles is unveiling its new mobile service van. Customers will be able to schedule a tune up through an app on their phone, and a team member from Cahaba Cycles will come to that person’s location to service the bicycle. The van is outfitted with a bike stand and tools so that a Cahaba Cycles team member can work inside the van, meaning work can be done in any weather condition. Josh Karrasch at Cahaba Cycles said many cyclists put off getting a tune up because they don’t have a bike rack and don’t want to scratch the inside of their vehicle putting in a bike. “It can be a whole production for people just to get the bikes to the shop,” he said. “People are short on resources as far as transporting big awkward stuff like this. So to have the ease of calling someone and saying come on out and fix my stuff, that’s worth it for a lot of people.” People are also short on time, he said. With the mobile van, people can leave their bike outside and come home to a serviced bicycle. The idea to have a mobile service van has been on Karrasch’s mind for years, he said. When the COVID-19 pandemic hit and people were scared to leave their homes, Cahaba Cycles began picking up customers’ bikes for them and bringing the bikes to the store to be serviced. That was fine, Karrasch said, but it was cumbersome. The mobile service van is much more convenient not only for the customers, but for the Cahaba Cycles staff, too. He bought the van as an “empty shell” in early 2021 and has spent time building shelves, bike stands and more to customize the van to his needs. The plan for the service van is to do simple bike fixes, and those who need a more

John Karrasch works on a Trek bicycle in the new Cahaba Cycles Mobile Service van in Homewood on March 23. Photo by Ingrid Schnader.

complicated bike repair will still need to have their bike serviced at one of the Cahaba Cycles brick-and-mortar locations. “Primarily, what I’ll be focused on with this is quicker stuff: flat fixes, tune ups, safety tune-ups for kids’ bikes, new handlebar tape and stuff like that,” he said. “The plan is to go ahead and start with that stuff and see what

demand looks like before we finish building the inside of it.” The cost for parts will be the same whether a customer needs something in-store or through the van. Labor costs will go up 20% if a bike is serviced through the van. “The goal for the pricing structure is no surprises,” Karrasch said.

Karrasch also plans to bring the van to local bike races, he said, and can service any “quick fixes” that racers need before or after their race. Cahaba Cycles is a Birmingham-based bike shop with a location in Trussville at 183 Main St.. For more information, visit cahabacycles. com.


TheHomewoodStar.com

June 2021 • A15

Business Happenings NOW OPEN Pebblehurst, 2915 Linden Ave., opened in April. Pebblehurst sells golf clothes, gear, clubs and more. It also offers custom fittings for golf clubs, private lessons from a PGA-certified trainer and more. facebook.com/pebblehurst

COMING SOON Manduu Fitness, 2825 Upstairs, 18th St. S., which offers electrical muscle stimulation workouts, plans a June or July opening. 678-613-2347, manduu.com

credit union service organization. He has more than 20 years of technology experience, with a background in information security and business continuity as well as financial systems, digital systems, and lending and payment systems. He also sits on the regional advisory board for Symitar, a leading provider of technology solutions for credit unions. 888-282-3426, avadiancu.com

NEWS AND ACCOMPLISHMENTS

A new development is in the works at 260 Oxmoor Road. The property owners plan to demolish the hotel on the property and develop an “aesthetically pleasing” climate-controlled storage facility. There are also plans to develop a retail or restaurant space on the remaining piece of the property.

Robins & Morton, 400 Shades Creek Parkway, is celebrating its 75th anniversary throughout this year by developing deeper roots in the community and modernizing its business, exhibited through a refreshed logo and renovated newly purchased headquarters space in Homewood. 205-870-1000, robinsmorton.com

PERSONNEL MOVES Crittenden Partners, 1 Independence Drive, Suite 305, is proud to announce and welcome attorney Lindsay Van Noy as an addition to the practice. 205-874-8685, crittendenpartners.com Avadian Credit Union, 475 Green Springs Highway, has hired Eric Ham as senior vice president of information technology. Ham has more than 15 years of credit union experience, having recently served as chief information officer for the St. Louis-area Scott Credit Union and prior to that as president of Managed Financial Networks, a

and Mark Hyde appreciate your support and business through the years. 205-506-0500, forecastsalon.com

Homewood's first Whataburger restaurant, 195 State Farm Parkway, had a ribbon-cutting ceremony in May. whataburger.com

ANNIVERSARIES Classic Wine, 1831 28th Ave. S., Suite 110, celebrates its anniversary June 5. 205-871-9463, classicwineco.com Tricia's Treasures, 2700 19th Place S., an antiques and accessories shop, recently celebrated its 40th anniversary. 205-871-9779, triciastreasures.us Forecast Salon, 1707 28th Ave. S., is celebrating its fourth anniversary serving the Homewood community with its full-service salon. Brittany McNaughton

Tostadas, 1831 28th Ave. S., recently celebrated its third anniversary. 205-783-1120, theflattaco.com


The Homewood Star

A16 • June 2021

Events Streetfest, seen here in 2018, returns June 5 to Patriot Park and will feature rides, games, inflatables, live music and food trucks. Staff photo.

Baskets and bags of peaches from Witt Farms sit for sale at the West Homewood Farmers Market, which returns for the 2021 season starting June 1. Staff photo.

Patriot Park hosts all-day Streetfest on June 5 By INGRID SCHNADER Streetfest is coming back to West Homewood on June 5. The annual festival started in 2015 as a way to connect the community to local businesses, said Justin Limbaugh, who created the West Homewood Neighborhood Association. There have been vendors at the festival in previous years, but then the event organizers decided the event should focus less on selling things and more on getting to know the community on a personal level. The event is free to attend and will have rides, games and inflatables. Rollin’ in the Hay will provide live music. There will be a few food trucks, including Los Valedores. In the past, there have been face painting and balloon animals, but Limbaugh said he’s not sure if face painting will be possible this year because of COVID-19 restrictions. Limbaugh said he enjoys seeing the community come together each year at this event.

Streetfest • WHERE: Patriot Park • WHEN: All day, rain or shine • COST: Free

“It’s a thousand neighbors all in the same spot, and they end up making connections, meeting new families, and the kids have a new set of friends to play with,” he said. “The relationships that end up coming out of it has been the biggest feedback that has come out of it.” It’s an all-day event at Patriot Park, and Limbaugh said nearby streets will begin closing around noon for the event. It typically ends around 8:30-9 p.m., he said. It will happen rain or shine. Follow the West Homewood Neighborhood Association page on Facebook for updates.

West Homewood Farmers Market back for 11th year By INGRID SCHNADER The West Homewood Farmers Market is back this summer in its 11th year. Starting June 1, the market will be every Tuesday in June and July and the first Tuesday in August. Hours are 5-8 p.m. The market website showed more than 50 vendors accepted for the 2021 season, including creators of handmade jewelry, gifts, local farm produce, baked goods and handcrafted items. This running list can be accessed online at westhomewood.com. Kenyon Ross of West Homewood Co. said the market’s goal this year is to be more in line with its vision, which is to take care of Alabama farmers and producers. “We wanted to have a good slew of everything (at the market), but I feel like we’ve fallen away from our mission,” he said. “One of the efforts we’re doing is to get back to our mission and to have a lot of farm and animal products there — food, generally speaking.” Instead of seeing the same craft vendors every week, there will be a rotation of craft vendors as the event focuses more on food.

West Homewood Farmers Market • WHERE: 160 Oxmoor Road • WHEN: 5-8 p.m., every Tuesday in June and July and first Tuesday in August • WEB: westhomewood.com

There is also typically a kids’ zone at the event, but Ross said this will be evaluated closer to the market’s start date depending on local guidelines regarding the COVID-19 pandemic. The booths will be spread apart 10 feet, similar to last year’s market, and mask requirements will also depend on local masking guidelines. Ross laughed and said the farmers market has a high “sitability” score. “We want people to feel like they can sit and stay a while at the market,” he said. Learn more at westhomewood.com.


TheHomewoodStar.com

June 2021 • A17

Life

Former teacher Truman Parrott made history come alive

Far left: Parrott holds a photo of his house on Forest Drive, where he lived for 49 years. Photo courtesy of Susan Johnson. Left: Truman Parrott rides a tricycle at his childhood home in downtown Homewood. Photo courtesy of Howard Onorato.

By INGRID SCHNADER Truman Parrott, a former history teacher at Homewood Junior High School for more than 30 years, leaves behind a legacy of bringing history to life. Parrott died in April after a lifetime in Homewood. He was born Oct. 21, 1940, and his childhood home was where SOHO Square is now, said his cousin, Nancy Onorato. According to the Homewood book written by Martha Wurtele and Jake Collins, the Parrotts were one of the last families to vacate downtown Homewood after the city’s postwar commercial boom. He moved to Forest Drive and lived there for 49 years. When he asked his cousin to help him find a place to downsize 5-10 years ago, he said he could not live outside of the 35209 zip code. He found the perfect fit at Brookdale Senior Living — across the street from his alma mater, Samford University. “He was Homewood all the way,” Onorato said. “Mr. Homewood is what we called him.” Parrott was tall and resembled Abraham Lincoln, so Parrott would play the part and make history “so it was real,” Onorato said. As he got older, he started having trouble remembering things about the present. But it didn’t affect

his expansive knowledge of Homewood and of history. One of his former students, Jennifer Ayers, graduated from Homewood High School in 1991 and then became a teacher herself. She now teaches dance at Homewood High School, and she said watching Parrott teach history influenced her in her path to become a teacher. “As a middle school student, I think this is crazy, but I just remember we would sit there and take notes after notes after notes because he was just so engaging with everything,” she said. “He made us feel like we were in the moment of whatever he was talking about.”

There was a funny story he told every class, Ayers said. One class, while studying Paul Revere and the legendary phrase, “The British are coming!” Parrott began to discuss what some of the townspeople must have thought about all of Revere’s shouting. Parrott told his class that day, “I can just imagine people waking up, going to the window, and saying —” Just then, the intercom turned on, meaning the front office could hear Parrott’s class. “—Shut up you old fool! We’re sleeping in here!” He told all of his students this story for years, Ayers said. It has been 34 years since

Ayers heard the story, and she said it still makes her laugh. She said it’s funny how she can still remember him telling that story so clearly. “Everybody was so interested in everything he had to say that he just had complete control of the class all the time,” she said. “It was always a joy to go in and learn from him. He was that engaging teacher that drew you in.” After Parrott’s passing, his friend, Susan Johnson, made a post in the What’s Happening in Homewood group on Facebook. Dozens of former students, neighbors and friends commented and told stories about how Parrott impacted their lives.

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A18 • June 2021

The Homewood Star

A HISTORY OF CARE Author traces growth of medicine in metro Birmingham

Former Vestavia Hills Mayor Scotty McCallum, who also served as president of UAB, played an integral role in the Birmingham area’s medical history. McCallum’s story is one of many in the new book, “From Steel Mills to Stethoscopes: A History of the Birmingham Medical Profession,” by author Lynn Edge. Photo courtesy of Chip McCallum.

By NICK PATTERSON A new book from a Vestavia Hills publisher pays tribute to pioneering figures in medicine, including the late Dr. Charles “Scotty” McCallum Jr., the city’s former mayor. When McCallum retired from his post as president of UAB, Yetta Samford, who was chairman of the board of the University of Alabama System, noted that he had “made a permanent impact on the life of this university and this state … He has been an integral part of the team that guided UAB from infancy to its current status as one of the nation’s up-and-coming universities.” McCallum’s story is one of many in the new book, “From Steel Mills to Stethoscopes: A History of the Birmingham Medical Profession,” by author Lynn Edge. The book highlights the contributions of doctors, nurses and the institutions that have turned the metro Birmingham area into a medical center recognized across the world. Released in January by Legacy Publishing, the book recounts substantial junctures in the metro area’s medical history, all the way from Davy Crockett’s stop in Jones Valley, feverish with malaria, to UAB’s development of remdesivir, a drug used to treat the coronavirus. Along with other collaborating writers, Edge, a longtime Birmingham journalist and author, shines a light on dozens of stories about medical pioneers in the area, some

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June 2021 • A19 lives. The story of the medical profession in Jefferson County is unending. There are new discoveries every day. I finally just had to say, “OK. The book ends here. Anything else will have to be covered in a sequel.”

Above left: The cover of “From Steel Mills to Stethoscopes: A History of the Birmingham Medical Profession.” Right: Author Lynn Edge. Photos courtesy of Lynn Edge.

well known, but others significant but more obscure. “One of the ones I love from Birmingham is Dr. Annie Mae Robinson, one of the city’s early female doctors and an outspoken suffragist,” Edge said. “She wasn’t about to let men have rights that women didn’t, and she was one of the early physicians who told us that smoking wasn’t good for us — men or women!” In a question-answer session with Vestavia Voice, she talks a bit about what she learned. Q: What led you to write a book about Birmingham’s medical history? A: Legacy Publishing approached me about the book, and it sounded like something I would like to take on. Q: How did you gather your information? How long did it take you to pull it all together? A: I read lots and lots and lots of books about the history of Jefferson County, for starters. I wanted to write the book from a perspective of what was happening in the county and how that affected what was going on in medicine. The Jefferson County Medical Society had kept very good records of what happened in their meetings. That was a wonderful resource.

Of course, I interviewed doctors here in town. Naturally, they had a wealth of knowledge about how medicine became such an important “industry” in Alabama. I also read many, many, many newspaper articles from archives all over the state (and some out of the state as well). I worked on the book for more than a year. Q: You covered a long period of history. Why was it important to go so far back and end at this moment in history? A: To tell the story of how the county became one of the world’s leading medical resources, you have to talk about when it wasn’t — when steel mills were what fueled the economy of the county. And to talk about that, you have to discuss what made the county “steel rich.” The natural resources that are right under our feet (literally) started the whole thing. With the steel industry came medical needs, and with medical needs came the growth of the medical industry here. Ending the book was such a fluid thing. When I started writing, “pandemic” was no more than a word. By the time I finished, we were in the middle of one. Because of the pervasive medical presence here, Birmingham naturally became a part of the research trying to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and save

Q: Did you face any particular challenges in getting it done? A: One of the biggest, of course, was just the abundance of information available. I found myself starting out to write about one subject and then having to research a number of other subjects because they were so closely related to my original “goal.” It was a lot like starting down a road from Point A to Point B and finding that there were tiny trails branching off from my main road, and all of them had to be explored. For example, I was writing one story about an early female doctor — Dr. Laura Burton — in Birmingham, which you would think would be a fairly straightforward story, except for the fact that her ex-husband, also a Birmingham doctor, murdered her. Then you’ve got to explore why this happened and what happened to the female doctor who shared a practice with Dr. Burton. When I was writing about Lou Wooster, I started out exploring how the local madam became a hero during the cholera epidemic in Birmingham and ended up trying to find out if there was any truth to the rumor that she had an affair with John Wilkes Booth. Q: I understand you also got to write about at least one of your relatives. Tell us about that. A: Frank Dulaney R.N. (The headline writer [page 83 in the book] made him a doctor. Sorry about that.) I heard stories about him when I was growing up. His mother and my great-grandmother were sisters. Frank set out on a path when he was young, and he didn’t change his goals. He always wanted to be a nurse, and he became the first male to graduate from an accredited nursing school in Alabama. He became Babe Ruth’s personal nurse toward the end of the Babe’s life. His portrait hung in the hall at Carraway Hospital. When a family member had to be at Carraway, that person usually took the time to stop by the portrait and pay respects to

Lavaughn, as the family called him. One of our family’s claims to fame! Q: What was the most profound thing you took away from working on this book? A: Perhaps that life is not as simple as one would imagine. So much is intertwined. If all the main “ingredients” for making steel weren’t right here in the county, there wouldn’t have been steel mills and there probably wouldn’t have been the growth of the medical profession here. The other thing, I guess, is “the more things change, the more they stay the same.” Birmingham had a yellow fever outbreak early in its history. There was the cholera epidemic in the 1800s. People didn’t know how to deal with these events. Sometimes they were told not to worry, the problem would just go away. There were some pretty offbeat suggestions about what to do about these diseases (“abstain from Ardent Spirits”). Sound familiar? The same themes you find in Chapters 1 and 2, you find in the epilogue. Our challenge is to learn from each one of these events and grow from the knowledge we gain. Q: How does this book connect with the others you’ve written? A: Funny. It doesn’t really. Several of my other books are travel guides, and I have written a biography of Elvis Presley. I just like digging into things and learning as I write. Q: What’s next for you? A: I’m working on a biography of Dr. Carl Marbury, a past president of Alabama A&M. Together, Dr. Marbury and I are working on a book about the “mulatto story.” I’ve almost finished a novella I’m writing (It started out being a little story about a girl who wanted to be a spy since she was a child and finally got to be one. It took a dark turn and ended up being a cautionary tale about being careful what you wish for.). And I’ve been approached about taking on some other projects for Legacy. Signed copies of “From Steel Mills to Stethoscopes: A History of the Birmingham Medical Profession” are currently available at the Alabama Booksmith in Homewood.


The Homewood Star

A20 • June 2021 XVI

CONTINUED from page A1 when the Imaghodors discovered Xander would be born early. Three weeks later, Allie’s water broke, but infants aren’t considered viable until 24 weeks. The doctor told the Imaghodors that if Xander didn’t show any signs of life, they wouldn’t do anything to intervene — it was too early. “I was taken aback,” she said. “I was like, you’re joking, right?” The Imaghodors assumed they would be dealing with medical issues for the rest of Xander’s life. To their surprise, Xander was born at 1 pound, 5 ounces without any physical disabilities. They spent the next 19 weeks in the neonatal intensive care unit, a time that the Imaghodors spent updating their friends on his progress using the hashtag #AdventuresofXVI. He was too fragile for the Imaghodors to hold for his first eight days of life. Then, Allie asked the nurse what boxes needed to be checked so they could hold Xander and when that would happen. Allie said the nurse had an unexpected reply: “How about now?” It was the best day ever, Allie said.

‘THE TINY DICTATOR’

Although he has no physical delays, Xander was about 3 years old when he was diagnosed with a global developmental delay. This means he has delays in all five areas of development: motor skills, speech, cognitive skills, and social and emotional development. “Where Xander mainly struggles is with his fine motor skills,” Allie said. “It’s really hard for him to focus on holding a crayon to color or to write his name.” He also struggles with speech. He falls somewhere between verbal and nonverbal, Allie said. “We typically refer to him as low verbal: he can say words, he can repeat words, and he can echo. He just has trouble with functional speech.” Xander uses a communication device, called LAMP, to point to photos and verbalize what he wants. Although he is limited verbally, Xander is sure of himself. Allie laughed and said Xander’s nickname was “the tiny dictator.” He knows what he wants, although sometimes he struggles communicating it. But if someone can’t understand him fast enough, he’ll take matters into his own hands. For example, if he wants a glass of lemonade, he goes to the fridge and brings the jug of lemonade to his mom and says, “More!” Xander is spirited, but he also has a calm about him, Allie said. If he notices anybody who is not being played with, he will go give that person company and “parallel play.” He is always laughing, she said. He loves music and loves to dance. He also loves to eat — he’ll eat anything, Allie said. Sometimes when he gets really excited, he lets out a loud scream. He also does a tapping-toe dance when he’s excited, which the Imaghodors call the Xander dance. He has an expressive eyebrow and is full of personality, but he’s also a cuddle bug. “I just think he is the coolest, most chill and laid-back kid,” Allie said.

ADVOCACY AND NAVIGATION

After leaving the NICU as an infant, Xander had follow-up visits at the hospital. But each time, he was discharged after the first visit. “What we found was people giving us the runaround,” Allie said. “We knew we qualified for early intervention because he was born before 26 weeks. But we got rejected by two agencies because they said he wasn’t delayed enough.” But while Xander was in the NICU, Allie had kept herself busy with research, and she knew that Xander legally qualified for the programs. “We finally found a place that would take him, and my husband and I thought, if this was hard for us as fully capable people, how hard is it going to be for families who don’t have the amount of time or the level of understanding that we do?” Allie said. The Imaghodors also experienced challenges in Xander’s classes. Because Xander had trouble communicating, he began to show negative behaviors. “We knew that it wasn’t him having tantrums or trying to be bad or trying to hurt people,”

Oz Imaghodor plays with his son, Xander, on the slide at Homewood Central Park. XVI, a nonprofit named after Xander, recently partnered with Jamie Pears, a speech pathologist teacher at Shades Cahaba Elementary School, to get playground communication boards installed at Homewood Central Park, Patriot Park and the park at Shades Cahaba. Photos by Ingrid Schnader.

There needs to be a voice for the people who don’t necessarily know how to use theirs, who don’t have the resources to be able to do that or who don’t know how to navigate the difficult waters ahead.

she said. “I think of how it is as an adult, how it frustrates me when I’m speaking plainly and someone can’t understand me. I can’t imagine not being able to speak and everyone not understanding you. That’s overwhelming.” There was language in Xander’s individualized education program that the Imaghodors didn’t like, Allie said. His supervisors wrote that Xander was being aggressive. He’s not aggressive; he’s frustrated, Allie said. “I take aggression as someone who is actively trying to hurt you for no reason or because they’re angry, and that’s not what Xander is trying to do.” It was hard for them to get that language changed, she said. The IEP follows a student for the rest of his life, and she didn’t want Xander to be held back in the future because of language that identified him as aggressive.

JEANNINE JERSEY BAILEY

Navigating these struggles and advocating for each child with special needs is part of the mission of XVI. Although the official nonprofit work with XVI began last year, Allie said they have been working on advocacy and navigation for hundreds of families since Xander’s birth. By creating a nonprofit, XVI is now able to provide financial support and raise money for its programs. Jeannine Jersey Bailey, one of the board members at XVI, became a supporter of the organization after getting to know Xander and becoming friends with the Imaghodors. “There needs to be a voice for the people who don’t necessarily know how to use theirs, who don’t have the resources to be able to do that or who don’t know how to navigate the difficult waters ahead,” she said. “Having

somebody who’s been down that road and someone to advocate and be an encourager, that is really where the magic happens with this group.” The organization recently partnered with Jamie Pears, a speech pathologist teacher at Shades Cahaba Elementary School, to get playground communication boards installed at Homewood Central Park, Patriot Park and the park at Shades Cahaba. The boards are loaded with playground-specific vocabulary, such as run, swing and tag. Other words on the board are yes and no, emotions such as happy or frustrated, a variety of pronouns and more. These boards are helpful for children who are nonverbal, children who speak different languages or children who have difficulty communicating. Bailey said her next project is finding other playgrounds that could benefit from having a playground communication board. Although she has made many memories since working with XVI, she said she’s most enjoyed seeing people come together. “The camaraderie that the parents feel when they find someone who gets what they’re going through and wants to help them — that’s a bond like no other,” she said. “Seeing them come together and encourage each other is magic.” Visit xvibham.org for more information.


TheHomewoodStar.com

June 2021 • A21


The Homewood Star

A22 • June 2021

Property tax was an issue. ... If you allow and approve this, their taxes go up, and now they can’t afford their taxes, so now they’re pushed or maybe forced out of their residence.

THE REV. BYRON WHITE

ROSEDALE

CONTINUED from page A1

because of Homewood’s thriving market and development. In 1926, the city of Homewood was established and combined three neighborhoods: Edgewood, Grove Park and Rosedale. According to the Rosedale Memorial Project, Black people could afford to purchase land in Rosedale (formerly called Clifton) in the late 1800s because it was a heavily wooded area with sloping terrain and a lack of transportation. Ask longtime Rosedale residents what the community was like in the early days, and they’ll tell you it was a community where everyone knew each other and was friendly to one another. The community would play games together like marbles, hopscotch and softball. “We had a village,” said Marlene Burnett. She grew up and currently lives in Rosedale with her mother, Christine McKnight, and McKnight has lived in Rosedale since the 1930s. “Everybody looked out for everybody else’s children. We never had any trouble. This has been one quiet community.” Today, there are two pockets of Rosedale: one on the Spring Park side of 18th Street and another by the Lee Community Center. Rosedale at one time took up much more space, though, said resident Barbara Pope, who has lived in the community for 83 years. “Rosedale extended up to Oxmoor Road, up by Piggly Wiggly on the north side,” she said. “It went down to 20th Street, which is now the Red Mountain Expressway. It went all the way behind B. M. Montgomery Street.” Mary Edwards, a Rosedale resident for 88 years, said in the beginning, Rosedale was one of the best towns she’d ever known. “I would describe Rosedale today, the love is still here, but business people have taken over about half of the community,” she said. “Everyone that’s still here knows each other and still associates with each other, and the older people are sick of being moved out of Rosedale. “I was reared here, and I would like to die here. And there are people in Rosedale who feel the same way.”

TOWNHOME DEVELOPMENT

As The Homewood Star previously reported, a rezoning request for a townhome development at 2510 18th St. S. was passed by the City Council with a controversial 6-5 vote on Jan. 25. John Abernathy, president of Blackwater Resources, said the monthly rent for these oneand two-bedroom units will be in the range of $2,500 to $3,000. The Rev. Byron White spoke at the meeting against the rezoning. White grew up in Homewood and recently moved into a 1930s house in Rosedale that he inherited from his family. “Property tax was an issue,” he said, referring to conversations residents had with the developer. “If this is allowed to be built, will our property tax go up?” Since being in Rosedale, he and his neighbors did improvements on their houses at the same time. Their property taxes doubled in the next year, he said. “We have residents that have been there 30, 40, 50 years, and their house may be paid for, or who are elderly,” he said. “If you allow and approve this, their taxes go up, and now they can’t afford their taxes, so now they’re pushed or maybe forced out of their residence.” At the council meeting, the future townhome property was rezoned from a C-2 neighborhood shopping district to an R-7 attached dwelling district. Under C-2, the property could have been the site of a car wash or gas station, which was an argument the developer made in favor of rezoning. “Actually, we don’t want either one of them

Above: Marlene Burnett pulls out a “Black History of Rosedale” booklet from a folder containing original documents about Rosedale's history as she and her mother, Christine McKnight, in the background, discuss Rosedale's history at The Lee Center on May 12. Below: In an old newspaper clipping discussing Rosedale, Christine McKnight is quoted saying, “They want to make it commercial; this is what they are doing. They want all of the [B]lacks out.” Photos by Ingrid Schnader.

The Rev. Byron White speaks at the Jan. 25 City Council meeting against the rezoning for the townhome development on 18th Street. Screenshot by Ingrid Schnader.

Brief History of Rosedale ► 1926: Establishment of Homewood combines Edgewood, Grove Park and Rosedale. ► 1926: Bishop Martienne Montgomery, at the time a teenager, becomes first principal of the Rosedale School. ► 1930s: Rosedale School is destroyed after multiple fires, which residents say were racially motivated. ► 1944: New school is constructed and still stands today. It now houses the Islamic Academy of Alabama. ► 1966: City dedicates Spring Park. A swimming pool is constructed and offers swimming lessons. ► 1968: Homewood City Council gains first Black member: Rosedale resident and advocate Afton Lee.

there,” Pope said. “We’re just stuck between a rock and a hard place.” Concerns expressed by Rosedale residents didn’t begin with the townhome development. For Burnett, it’s been years of “living” at City Hall to speak up for her and her mother’s neighborhood in efforts to limit commercial development. ServisFirst Bank, a four-story bank building, touches their backyard. “People get tired, and they’re exhausted,” Burnett said. “It gets to a point where it beats you down.”

FUTURE EFFORTS

In 1968, Homewood gained its first Black City Council member with Afton Lee, who was a longtime Rosedale resident and community leader, according to the Rosedale Memory

► 1969: Jefferson County Schools system is integrated, and Rosedale School closes. ► 1983: Rosedale resident Julia Vann Finley appears before Homewood City Council in protest of plans regarding zoning laws in favor of commercialization. ► 1984: Rosedale Community Development Corporation is incorporated as a nonprofit organization. ► 2007: Homewood City Council establishes a Rosedale Revitalization Committee, but many goals outlined by committee are never realized. This timeline was adapted from the Rosedale Memory Project. Visit rosedalememoryproject.omeka.net for more information.

Project. Other Rosedale residents and advocates have served on the council over the years but have had trouble effecting much change, McKnight said. In the 2020 municipal election, Melanie Geer secured a seat on the council in Ward 1, and one of her three key areas of focus was preserving and revitalizing Rosedale. In a recent conversation with Geer, she mentioned the Rosedale Revitalization Committee that was formed by the council in 2007. The goals identified in 2007 included protecting Rosedale’s historic character, increasing the number of owner-occupied homes, creating more affordable housing and establishing neighborhood boundaries. Most of these goals were never realized, so a new committee is being formed to reevaluate the current climate in Rosedale and to develop

I think, how would they like it if commercial went into their neighborhood and wanted to buy? They wouldn’t like it.

MARY EDWARDS

new ideas, goals and recommendations for the city to consider, she said. “Without a specific plan for preserving and revitalizing Rosedale that is supported by the city of Homewood, Rosedale as we’ve known it will most likely continue to deteriorate and eventually sell to the highest bidder,” she said. “If we care about preservation and responsible revitalization, then we have to be deliberate in our planning and our commitment.” Edwards said she thinks the council has not cared about Rosedale over the years, and if they did, they wouldn’t have allowed so much commercial development to come into the community. “I think, how would they like it if commercial went into their neighborhood and wanted to buy?” she said. “They wouldn’t like it.” If she had her way and had the money, people in Rosedale would have nice homes, she said. The streets would be paved. No businesses would be in the neighborhood — there would be houses and churches, the way it used to be, she said. “They have already taken over half of it,” she said. “I wish they would leave us alone. The few that are here, let us continue to live here and die here.”


TheHomewoodStar.com

June 2021 • A23

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SECTION

B Creating their own chapter JUNE 2021

Sports B4 Schoolhouse B8 Community B16 Opinion B17 Calendar B18

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Patriots boys win it all, girls finish as runner-up in state soccer tournament By KYLE PARMLEY The Homewood High School boys soccer team left no doubt once the playoffs started. The Patriots finished off their perfect playoff run with a 2-1 win over McGill-Toolen on May 8 in the Class 6A state final at John Hunt Park. “It feels great,” said Yousef Nasser, MVP of the state tournament. “I’ve been dreaming about this since last year. It’s been an honor to play with this team.” Nasser scored the second goal of the day for the Patriots, as they jumped out to a 2-0 lead less than 10 minutes into the contest. Nasser headed one into an empty net after Hardy Smith’s attempt bounded off the crossbar. Homewood got on the board first with a Jacob Sitton header five minutes in. “We always come out strong,” Nasser said. Head coach Julian Kersh was a player on the 2005 and 2006 Homewood teams that won state titles and often relayed stories from those years to his current team. But eventually, he told his team to go create its own chapter. It did just that, taking home the sixth state title in program history. “I’m over the moon for them,” Kersh said. Nasser and Kersh spoke about the determination to win it all this year to not only fulfill the dreams of the 2021 team, but to also do it in honor of the 2020 team that had its season The Patriots celebrate after defeating McGill-Toolen in the AHSAA Class 6A boys state championship game at John Hunt Park in Huntsville on May 8. It is the program’s sixth state title. Photo by Erin Nelson.

Live easy on Lay Lake Z Custom built 3 Bedroom 2.5 Baths 4 Bedroom 3.5 Baths Z Built with high quality products & finishes

Z Only 5 minutes away from world class golf at FarmLinks at Purcell Farms Z Private & secure gated community

See SOCCER | page B6

Live The Harbor at Lay Lake Life A L u x u r y Tow n h o m e D e ve l o p m e n t

Z Private swimming pool

Z Solid stone counter tops, custom cabinets, stainless appliances

Z Private boat launch & dock space

Z Main level garages

Z HOA maintained community

Z Unfinished daylight basement and/or lakeside garage access for water craft storage

Z Phase 1 completed

C A L L TO DAY

to s c h e d u l e yo u r p e rs o n a l to u r

CHRISTIE HECKMAN 205-706-4444 KARL HECKMAN 205-492-5669 christie.heckman@exprealty.com

340 Mickey Lane, Sylacauga

theharboratlaylake.com


The Homewood Star

B2 • June 2021

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and ask for someone in the Vegetation Management Group to contact you. Or you can email us at apcvm@southernco.com. Work in Homewood and nearby areas is expected to continue through summer 2021.

six feet from our crews and field representatives to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus. Also, you can visit alpwr.co/vm for more information about these safety and reliability measures and for

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Vegetation Management Group 205-257-2155 | apcvm@southernco.com

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A PUBLIC NOTICE FROM ALABAMA POWER


TheHomewoodStar.com

June 2021 • B3

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The Homewood Star

B4 • June 2021

Sports Patriots settle for 3rd in abbreviated state tourney By KYLE PARMLEY Mother Nature was unkind to the Homewood High School boys golf team at the state tournament. Inclement weather robbed the Patriots a chance to move up the Class 6A leaderboard. The state tournament was held at the Robert Trent Jones Magnolia Grove in Mobile and was originally slated to be a 36-hole event over May 10 and 11. Despite persistent rain on the first day, all golfers were able to complete a full round. After that day, Homewood sat in third place, just two strokes behind second-place Hartselle. Mountain Brook blitzed the competition as expected, holding a 19-stroke lead after a day of play. The weather was worse the following day. Heavy rain and thunderstorms entered the area in the late morning, halting the tournament. The course was deemed unplayable for the remainder of the day. Homewood golfers completed six holes the second day before play was suspended but would have needed to complete nine for the day’s scores to count toward the total. As a result, the tournament was shortened to an 18-hole event, meaning all scores from the first day would be used to decide the state champions. The Patriots had overtaken Spanish Fort for second place through six holes, but they had to settle for a third-place finish in 6A after reverting back to the first day’s scores. Mountain Brook won the 6A title with a score of 284, Spanish Fort earned the runner-up trophy

with a 303, Homewood finished at 305, and St. Paul’s scored a 314. Jack Craddock led Homewood with a round of 75 (4-over par), good enough for seventh overall. Harrison Sims tied for eighth with his 76 (+5), and Joshua Peters tied for 12th with a 77 (+6). Jonathan Peters shot a 79, and Kaman Rouse fired an 80. Mountain Brook took the top three spots, as Gordon Sargent (68), Evans Gross (69) and Will Feagin (71) stole the show. The Patriots finished second in the 6A North sub-state tournament May 3 at Cypress Lakes in Florence. Homewood came in second behind only Mountain Brook, firing a team total of 308. Joshua Peters led the way for the Patriots with a 72 (1-over par). Sims shot a 73 (+2), Craddock finished with a 77 (+6), Jonathan Peters shot an 86, and Rouse fired an 88. Homewood’s boys qualified for the sub-state tournament with their performance at the section tournament, finishing third. Peters placed in the top five overall with a score of even par. The Homewood girls golf team finished in a tie for second in the Class 6A, Section 4 tournament with a score of 261, qualifying for the sub-state tournament. Aidan Haithcock led the Patriots with a round of 80. The John Carroll girls team advanced to the state tournament in Class 4A-5A. The Cavaliers finished fourth after posting a score of 273 in the first round of play. Kaitlyn Shields led the team with a round of 80, good for sixth overall. Melanie Harris was 12th, Hailey Garcia placed 16th, and Caroline Bonamy finished 18th overall.

Homewood’s Harrison Sims tees off on the first hole during the 15th annual Bradley Johnson Memorial Tournament March 30 at Greystone Founders golf course. Photo by Erin Nelson.

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TheHomewoodStar.com

June 2021 • B5

Above: John Carroll’s Sean Montenegro competes in the boys Class 5A, Section 3 meet javelin throw at HewittTrussville’s stadium April 23. Photo by Erin Nelson. Left: Homewood’s Spenser Lamb finishes first in his 110-meter hurdles heat during the sectional track and field meet at Northridge High School on April 23. Photo courtesy of Gary Cosby Jr.

Patriots, Cavs track and field wrap up outdoor season By KYLE PARMLEY The Homewood High School track and field team completed the season at the Class 6A state outdoor meet in Gulf Shores on April 29-May 1. The Patriots boys finished sixth, compiling 30 points, while the girls placed eighth with 30.5 points. The girls were half a point from vaulting to fifth. Homewood’s girls won the state title six consecutive years from 2014-19, and the boys won in 2018 and 2019. While the Patriots were unable to keep those streaks alive, there were still notable performances from this spring’s state meet. Spenser Lamb won the 110-meter hurdles event with a time of 14.4 seconds. He also won the 300 hurdles with a time of 39.43 seconds. Brooke Walden won the girls pole vault event,

clearing 12 feet. Cross Derriso cleared 14 feet in the boys pole vault to reach the podium, finishing third. The girls 4x400-meter relay team also finished third, posting a time of 4:06.64. Maddie Kline placed sixth in the girls high jump, with a leap of 4-10. Alyssa Langford was seventh in the girls long jump, and Jordan Reaves was seventh in girls pole vault. Also contributing for Homewood were Sarah Derriso, Slate Rohrer, David Huynh, Phoebe Reed, Julia Mitchell, Robert Fowlkes, Sydney Dobbins, Camille Etheridge, Ben Murray, Caroline Wilder, Jack Harchelroad, Emma Brooke Levering, Sarah Kemper, Jon Fielding Stogner, Andrew Laird, Naeemah Gamble, Alan Martinez, Sam Dill, Alex Jones, Neily Stephens, Katie Justice, Ivan Wimberly, Lily Giffin,

Karmen Paige and Hunter Drake. The girls 4x800 relay team was fourth. The boys 4x800 relay team also placed sixth. Homewood competed in the Class 6A, Section 1 meet at Northridge the prior weekend, with the boys finishing first and the girls coming home as the runners-up. Lamb won the 110-meter hurdles and 300 hurdles, Cross Derriso won the pole vault competition, Wimberly won the javelin throw, the girls won the 4x400-meter relay and the boys won the 4x800. Other Patriots making it to the podium were Sarah Derriso (second in 400), Etheridge (third in 1,600), Levering (second in 3,200), Wilder (third in 3,200), Mitchell (second in 300 hurdles), Kline (second in high jump), Walden (second in pole vault), Reaves (third in pole

vault), Gamble (third in shot put), Stephens (second in javelin), Murray (third in 800 and third in 1,600), Stogner (second in 3,200), Laird (third in 3,200), Rohrer (third in 110 hurdles and second in 300 hurdles), Jones (third in high jump) and Drake (third in triple jump). For John Carroll in the 5A division, Sean Montenegro won the javelin competition with a throw of 165 feet, 7 inches. Mary Elizabeth Everett was sixth in the 300-meter hurdles, Claire Humphrey was sixth in the girls 800meter run, the girls 4x800 relay team was fourth, the boys 4x100 team was sixth, and the girls 4x400 team was sixth. Martice Smith, Ethan Cull, Riley Kelner, Nic Pfamer, Lilly Langley, Jackson Gerace, Donnelly Tighe, Faith Wittmann, Lizzie Tighe and Patrick Wood all competed for the Cavs as well.


The Homewood Star

B6 • June 2021

Above: Homewood’s Rika Kellen (13) takes a shot at the goal in the AHSAA Class 6A girls state championship game against St. Paul’s at John Hunt Park in Huntsville on May 8. Left: The Patriots celebrate after Yousef Nasser (16) scored during the state championship game. Photos by Erin Nelson.

SOCCER

CONTINUED from page B1 cut short. “We wanted to make sure that wasn’t a hollow promise,” Kersh said. In the final, McGill-Toolen cut the lead in half in the final minutes, but the Patriots hung on to seal the win. Leading up to the final, Homewood’s boys dominated Minor 8-0 in the first round and blew past Clay-Chalkville 11-1 in the second round.

In the quarterfinals, Homewood knocked out Mountain Brook in penalty kicks after a scoreless regulation and overtime period. On May 7 in the semifinals, the Patriots got past Fort Payne 3-0. Bryan Sokell, Gage Estep and Nasser scored the goals for Homewood. Homewood finished the year with an 18-3-3 record. The girls nearly made it a clean sweep for the school, but they fell to St. Paul’s 2-1 in a game that went to a penalty shootout. Rika Kellen got Homewood on the board in the first half with a goal, and the Lady Patriots

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took that 1-0 edge with them into the halftime break. St. Paul’s began to threaten midway through the second half and finally notched the equalizing goal. Homewood had opportunities in the final minutes of regulation, but the game went to overtime still knotted at 1-1. Two overtime periods settled nothing, leaving the championship to be decided in a penalty shootout. After Homewood’s first shot of the shootout sailed high, St. Paul’s never flinched and won 5-4 in penalty kicks.  St. Paul’s tying goal in the second half was

the first goal surrendered by the Homewood girls in the entirety of the playoffs. To reach the final, Homewood beat Jasper and Shades Valley by identical 10-0 scores in the first two rounds. Homewood beat Chelsea 3-0 in the quarterfinals and took down Southside-Gadsden 3-0 in the semifinals May 7. The Lady Patriots finished the year with a 20-3 record. John Carroll’s girls advanced to the 4A-5A semifinals in Huntsville as well, but the Lady Cavaliers fell to Montgomery Academy 5-0 in the semis May 6.

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TheHomewoodStar.com

June 2021 • B7

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The Homewood Star

B8 • June 2021

Schoolhouse Have a schoolhouse announcement? Email Ingrid Schnader at ischnader@starnesmedia.com to be considered for inclusion in an upcoming issue.

Danny Steele chosen to be Shades Cahaba teacher named new middle school principal Teacher of the Year finalist Danny Steele will be the new principal of Homewood Middle School. With 27 years of experience in education, Steele has served as a teacher, coach, administrator at the middle and high school level and an assistant professor of instructional leadership. Steele is currently the principal of Pell City High School and will be joining the Homewood School community July 1. He began his career as a teacher at Jackson Olin High School and then Mountain Brook Junior High School before enterShades Cahaba English teacher Alli Phelps with her 2021 ing into school adminisstudents. Photo courtesy of Merrick Wilson. tration. With 19 years of administrative experience, Steele has earned multiple awards as a school degree from Covenant College in Lookleader, including Alabama Middle School out Mountain, Georgia, and his master’s Principal of the Year as well as Alabama’s degree from the University of Alabama at Secondary Assistant Principal of the Year. Birmingham. From Samford University, “Dr. Steele has a strong reputation and his- Steele received his educational specialist tory of being an outstanding leader and school degree in educational administration and administrator,” Homewood City Schools doctorate in educational leadership. Superintendent Justin Hefner said. “I am “It is an honor and privilege to join the excited to see him lead the amazing staff at Homewood Middle School team,” Steele said. Homewood Middle School.” “I look forward to working with the faculty Steele has presented at numerous state and staff and families of Homewood to support and national conferences and has written our students and empower them to achieve several books on teaching and leading great things.” – Submitted by Merrick Wilson. in schools. He earned his undergraduate

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Shades Cahaba English teacher Alli Phelps was selected as one of the 16 finalists for the 202122 Alabama Teacher of the Year and the Alabama Board of Education District 3 Elementary Teacher of the Year. “I am so proud to have Ms. Phelps represent our schools and district at this level,” Homewood City Schools SuperShades Cahaba English teacher Alli Phelps with her 2021 intendent Justin students. Photo courtesy of Merrick Wilson. Hefner said. “She serves as a literacy leader within the school community, and she and her community, and I see the impact she creates a warm classroom environment where makes each day through her compassion, love her students feel special and important as they and kindness for others.” learn the English language and develop confiThe Alabama Department of Education in dence in themselves as students.” a news release said highly skilled educators With 22 years of experience in education, are essential to the state’s continued success. Phelps has served as Shades Cahaba’s English These educators inspire achievement while Learner teacher for the past 12 years, and she also preparing future generations of top propreviously taught at Homewood High School fessionals, the release said. as an Advanced Placement teacher while also This year’s 16 state finalists have emerged working with EL students. from a group of over 138 highly skilled educaShades Cahaba Elementary Principal John tors who submitted official applications. Lowry said Phelps is a student-centered The 2021-22 Alabama Teacher of the Year teacher who advocates for her current and past is scheduled to be officially announced by the students and their families. Alabama Board of Education and the Alabama “Ms. Phelps’ life work is making a differ- Department of Education in August. ence in the lives of her students, their families, – Submitted by Merrick Wilson.


TheHomewoodStar.com

June 2021 • B9

Story named principal of Shades Cahaba Elementary Wendy Story is the new principal of Shades Cahaba Elementary School. Story has been serving as Shades Cahaba’s assistant principal of curriculum and instruction, where she has helped lead the faculty in developing engaging learning opportunities for students and reviewed data to set goals for school priorities and student growth. Story is a Homewood High School graduate and has 20 years of experience in elementary education serving as a teacher, instructional technology specialist and administrator. “It is an honor to continue to serve this wonderful community, school district, and the students and families of Shades Cahaba,” Story said. “Homewood holds a special place in my heart, and the amazing experiences and wonderful teachers I had as a student are what inspired me to become an educator. “I am excited to work with our faculty and staff to support our students and families and carry out Shades Cahaba’s long history of educating, respecting, protecting and loving children,” she said. While at Shades Cahaba, Story has prioritized character education through planning and implementing NEST (Nurturing

Wendy Story is the new principal of Shades Cahaba Elementary School. Photo courtesy of Merrick Wilson.

Every Student Together) groups for students and staff. She also worked to develop the school’s MakerSpace, a place where students learn by discovery and get exposure to future technologies. Story has been certified by the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards and

has served as president of the Alabama National Board Certified Teacher Network. She has also served on the Birmingham-Southern College Education Advisory Council and is a member of the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development and the American Educational Research Association. Story has presented at many local, state and international learning conferences, including the Alabama Association of Professors of Educational Leadership Conference this year. “Dr. Story is a strong advocate for our students, faculty and staff, and families,” Homewood City Schools Superintendent Justin Hefner said. “She has a true love and passion for educating and empowering all of our students, and we look forward to the wonderful things she will continue to do for the students and families in Homewood.” Story received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. From Samford University, she earned an additional master’s degree in instructional leadership, her educational specialist degree and doctorate of education. – Submitted by Merrick Wilson.

HISTORY BROUGHT TO LIFE Sixth graders Ella McMillan and Delaney Sparacio portray their favorite American heroes — Jeannette Rankin and Jane Addams — during the Our Lady of Sorrows Catholic School Wax Museum. The event was part of the class social studies project they shared with other students in the school. Photo courtesy of Mary Stephens Pugh.

Our Lady of Sorrows Catholic School eighth grader Jimmy McMillan teaches seventh graders how to live stream the school masses on the OLS Church Facebook page for students and parents to watch. There has been limited church attendance due to social distancing restrictions. Each week, classes take turns attending the school liturgy in person, while others participate from their classrooms. Communion is then distributed to all those who are eligible to receive. McMillan learned how to live stream the Mass from his grandfather Kevin Fehr, who is one of

High schoolers participate in 2-day Senate simulation Homewood High School students held a two-day Senate simulation where the students wrote bills and passed them through committees. Each bill was debated and either became law or failed to be passed on the Senate floor. “We want to take a minute to congratulate our seniors who have worked hard

Gavin King will be the new girls head basketball coach at Homewood High School. King has served as Childersburg High School’s varsity girls basketball coach for four years and has led the team to regional appearances, area championships and the final four. He has 12 years of coaching experience and was named Talladega County’s Coach of the Year for 2018, 2019 and 2020. As a head coach, he has compiled a record of 102-29. His team King has won four straight area championships, four regional appearances and two final four appearances. “Coach King brings lots of energy to the court and has great vision and expertise in basketball that will help shape our program moving forward,” Homewood High School Athletics Director Doug Gann said. “His passion for building a program from the youth level through high school shows his dedication for developing student athletes. We are excited to have him leading our Lady Patriots.” – Submitted by Merrick Wilson.

Homewood’s Clayton Sweeney to join national advisory council

OLS students connect Mass to classrooms Our Lady of Sorrows Catholic School eighth grader Jimmy McMillan, second from left, teaches seventh graders, from left, Nate Ubil, Charles Courtney and Elias Marinelli how to livestream the school masses on the OLS Church Facebook page. Photo courtesy of Mary Stephens Pugh.

Gavin King to coach HHS girls basketball

and exemplified civil discourse at the highest levels, while taking on the roles of U.S. Senators, by writing, debating and ultimately choosing to pass or fail legislation on the Senate floor,” teachers Elizabeth McGowin and Clayton Sweeney said. – Submitted by Merrick Wilson.

the parishioners on a team that livestreams the Sunday liturgies. Learning to use this type of equipment is one of the many technological opportunities available at the school. Our Lady of Sorrows Catholic School fosters the religious, academic and social development of every child, recognizing that knowledge enlightened by faith and realized through service is at the heart of Catholic education. To learn more about Our Lady of Sorrows Catholic School, visit olsschool.com. – Submitted by Mary Stephens Pugh.

Homewood High School government teacher Clayton Sweeney was selected to serve on the National Constitution Center's Teacher Advisory Council. The council supports the center by sharing best practices for teaching constitutional and civic topics and advises the center on programs and resources that would best support classroom instruction on constitutional fundamentals. Teachers on the advisory council are active and engaged educational profesSweeney sionals who teach students from fifth grade to college from all types of school environments and locations. The members are asked to participate in monthly online meetings and virtual student programs, advise the center’s education team on new and additional resources that will best support teachers and students nationwide, and advocate on behalf of the center through regional professional networks and professional development workshops. The advisory council includes more than 200 teachers from 43 states and Washington, D.C., in suburban, urban and rural communities. – Submitted by Merrick Wilson.

Students during the Senate simulation in Clayton Sweeney’s third period class. Photo courtesy of Merrick Wilson.


The Homewood Star

B10 • June 2021

EXCELLENCE IN EDUCATION

Homewood students honored at Homewood Chamber of Commerce luncheon By INGRID SCHNADER This year’s Excellence in Education awards honored Homewood students who were eager to learn, had positive attitudes and devoted themselves to their studies. The annual award presentation was at the April 20 Homewood Chamber of Commerce virtual luncheon. Merrick Wilson, the school system’s communications director, introduced the award recipients. “These are students who have excelled as individuals and possess the ideals of character, scholarship and service,” Wilson said. “These are students who have been selected by their fellow peers, teachers and principals as they are respected student leaders. Parents, you should be very proud of your children. They are representing some of Homewood’s best. And in a year like no other, they have continued to shine and set an example for us all.”

EDGEWOOD ELEMENTARY: EVA JEFFRIES

Eva Jeffries, a fifth grader at Edgewood Elementary School, exemplifies the Excellence in Education Award both inside and outside of the classroom, Wilson said. At school, she’s eager to learn and participates in classroom discussions. She is also involved in service activities in the Homewood community. She participates in iRun and Girl Scouts and is an active member of Trinity United Methodist Church. She is also involved in the Epilepsy Foundation. Jeffries is on the national leadership council for the foundation’s Kids Crew and has earned a World Changer Award for her advocacy. “Eva’s fifth grade teacher says that she loves

Left: Eva Jeffries, a fifth grader at Edgewood Elementary School. Center: Nolan Isley, a fifth grader at Hall-Kent Elementary School. Right: Cannon Vail, a fifth grader at Shades Cahaba Elementary School. Photos courtesy of Merrick Wilson.

that Eva consistently shows up to school ready to work hard and give it her best, even when it’s challenging,” Wilson said. “Eva seeks to include everyone in the classroom, and if she sees someone not being included, she is quick to invite them into whatever she is doing.”

HALL-KENT: NOLAN ISLEY

One of the first things a person notices about Nolan Isley, a fifth grader at Hall-Kent Elementary School, is his positive attitude, Wilson said. “His teacher will tell you he gets so excited when he is the first one to come into the

classroom, and he is always ready to start the day with his excitement for learning new things,” Wilson said. Isley is known by his classmates as the Google Guy and is always ready to research the answer when the classroom has a question. He helps students struggling in any subject area and is there if someone needs a friend. “Just last week, Nolan brought in a Spanish picture book to share with a new student from Colombia,” Wilson said. “He is always looking for ways to include others and willing to lend a helping hand.”

Outside of the classroom, Isley stays busy on the swim team and playing soccer, basketball and baseball.

SHADES CAHABA: CANNON VAIL

Cannon Vail, a fifth grader at Shades Cahaba Elementary School, is a lover of math with an optimistic outlook on life. His teachers describe him as one of the most kind and caring students they have ever taught, Wilson said. His teacher said he is loving to his friends and never fails to lead by example. “Although time constraints in school are

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TheHomewoodStar.com

June 2021 • B11

Homewood Middle School eighth grader Alejandra Briceno.

defined by the bell, Cannon has that ‘firstone-in, last-one-out’ mentality,” Wilson said his teacher said. “His hard work and diligence in his schoolwork are equal to his dedication to his relationships in and out of the classroom.”

Wilson said. “She goes above and beyond in everything she does and consistently strives to do better and be better.”

HOMEWOOD MIDDLE: ALEJANDRA BRICENO

Michael Moorman, a senior at Homewood High School, is ranked first in his class. He earned 13 Advanced Placement credits while at Homewood. He doubled in science and math classes his junior year, using elective spots in his schedule to fill in additional AP classes. He also completed the highest level courses offered at the school in English, math, science, social studies and Latin. “Having successfully participated in our demanding college preparatory curriculum with high marks throughout his high school career, Michael demonstrates the ability, skills and intellect to embrace the rigors of a demanding college education,” Wilson said. He intends to pursue a career in engineering and manufacturing, so during his time at Homewood, he was an active participant in class and

Homewood High School senior Michael Moorman.

in labs. Although he is smart and can identify solutions quickly, he values a collaborative approach, Wilson said. “He is not boastful and does not assume to get it right every time,” Wilson said. “Classmates find it easy to work with Michael. He is charismatic, personable, open-minded and unassuming around his peers.” He has been accepted to many prestigious

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Eighth grader Alejandra Briceno has earned all As during her three years at Homewood Middle School and is enrolled in all of the advanced classes that the school offers. Briceno is on the Peer Helper Leadership Team and is a student representative for the Safe and Healthy Homewood Coalition and for the HMS School Counseling Program Advisory Council. She runs track and cross-country and plays soccer. “In addition to being a well-rounded student who consistently demonstrates excellent character, scholarship, leadership and service, Alejandra assists at home with her younger siblings and translating information for her family,”

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colleges, including Harvard, Yale, Johns Hopkins, Auburn and Vanderbilt. “Together our city works together to ensure our students have a bright future,” Wilson said. “These award recipients are students who have committed a great deal of time, energy, vision and leadership in their schools and the community. Congratulations to our students, their parents and our schools.”

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B12 • June 2021

The Homewood Star

Above and left: Homewood Grown, a community event that celebrates all things Homewood, particularly the teachers and administrators of the Homewood City school system, was April 30 at Patriot Park. Photos by Layton Dudley.

HOMEWOOD GROWN

Above: Chinelo Dike-Minor, Sara Boney and Randall Minor pose for a photo. Left: The Happy Catering Co. serves dinner.

Attendees pose for a photo.

Foundation Past-President Tray Ivey introduces the Teacher Impact Awards.


TheHomewoodStar.com

June 2021 • B13

Homewood High’s AP program sees growth Students in Catherine Warren’s AP Statistics class work through a lesson using hypotheses tests at Homewood High School. Photo by Erin Nelson.

By JON ANDERSON When Jane Ann Langford left Homewood High School to head off to college in 2018, she had already earned 36 credits toward her college degree, thanks to her participation in the College Board’s Advanced Placement program. That was six more credits than a full year’s worth of work, so she essentially was able to start college at the University of Virginia as a sophomore, her mother, Dana Langford said. Jane Ann, who already is graduating with a bachelor’s degree in foreign affairs this spring and participating in an accelerated public policy master’s program, is a prime example of the benefits of the AP program. Her older brother, Nolen, who graduated from Auburn University with a bachelor’s degree in finance last year, was able to skip the first two levels of English and advanced calculus at Auburn. And her younger sister, Alyssa, who is graduating this year from Homewood, has gotten the benefit of five AP courses. The Langford children are not alone. A growing number of Homewood High School students are taking part in the AP program, school statistics show. The total number of Homewood students taking AP courses has grown from 348 in 2016 to 408 in 2020. The number of AP exams taken by Homewood students has increased 25% from 802 to 1,002 in the same period. And the percentage of Homewood’s AP students scoring a passing grade of 3 or above (out of 5) on AP exams increased from 76.7% in 2016 to 81.2% in 2019. That percentage fell slightly to 79.2% in 2020, but that little drop almost certainly can be attributed to the COVID-19 pandemic, said Amanda Esslinger, Homewood High School’s assistant principal over curriculum and instruction and the school’s AP coordinator for the past five years. Students missed a lot of in-person instruction and interaction with their peers in 2020, and “there’s certainly a difference in attending an AP class every day for two whole months than being at home and learning virtually,” Esslinger said. The seniors in the class of 2020 were not

required to complete their AP coursework, but a lot of them did anyway because they wanted to be prepared for their AP exams, she said. While there was a slight dip in 2020, “our scores and our percentages are still amazing,” Esslinger said. Homewood has a strong participation rate in AP classes because any student can take an AP class, she said. There are no prerequisite tests or recommendations from teachers required. Also, the school district pays for all AP exams for its students, removing any financial barriers for students to achieve, she said. Having about 80% of AP students score a passing grade is all the more impressive because all the AP students take the exams, Esslinger said. At some schools, only the students who think they will do really well take the test, she said. Homewood doesn’t pressure its students to take AP courses, but the school does encourage students to challenge themselves to be the best

By the Numbers: Advanced Placement tests

Total AP students Total AP exams % scoring 3 or higher*

2016 348 802 76.7%

2017 2018 2019 2020 371 405 404 408 867 996 950 1,002 77.4% 78% 81.2% 79.2%

*AP tests are scored 1-5

they can be and to make choices based on their unique potential and goals, Esslinger said. For some students, one AP course is a good fit, but for another, four AP classes might fit best, she said. Jane Ann Langford took 12 AP classes at Homewood High, her mother said. “She didn’t sleep very much for two to three years,” Dana Langford said. “She wanted to

SOURCE: HOMEWOOD CITY SCHOOLS

have a really challenging curriculum. She enjoyed having that mental challenge.” And it paid off in the long run, Dana Langford said. Not only did the family get the financial benefit of skipping many college courses, but her children felt well prepared for the courses they did take in college, she said. They had some great teachers and learned a lot, she said. “College seemed to be a little easier.”

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B14 • June 2021

The Homewood Star

Graduates toss their caps into the air following Homewood High School’s 49th commencement ceremony honoring the Patriot Class of 2021 on May 15 at Waldrop Stadium. Homewood High School awarded 288 diplomas at Saturday’s ceremony. Photos by Erin Nelson.

HOMEWOOD HIGH’S

CLASS OF 2021

Above and below: Graduates celebrate following Homewood High School’s 49th commencement ceremony.

Above: Principal Zachary Barnes shakes hands as he hands graduates their diplomas. Left: A graduate smiles after receiving a diploma. Below: Family and friends stand as graduates file into their seats to begin the ceremony.


TheHomewoodStar.com

June 2021 • B15


The Homewood Star

B16 • June 2021

Community Have a community announcement? Email Ingrid Schnader at ischnader@starnesmedia.com to be considered for inclusion in an upcoming issue.

Student Art Contest winner overcomes fears through art

Phoebe Reed, a junior at Homewood High School, sits at the art workspace at her parents’ home, with her winning artwork, “Fearing Future Reflection,” behind her. Photo by Erin Nelson.

By INGRID SCHNADER The winner of the fifth annual student art contest, Phoebe Reed, has spent the past academic year diving into her fears and illustrating them on canvas. The annual contest is held by the Homewood Public Library and draws in hundreds of applicants from Homewood and across the county. This year’s Best in Show winner was Reed, who is now a rising senior at Homewood High School. Her piece, titled “Fearing Future Reflection,” was part of a series she did in her advanced art class in school. “I decided I was going to deep dive into fears and the complexity of fears, and how it’s shown figuratively and literally,” she said. Reed has anxiety, so she has a handful of fears, she said. Among these are terminal illness, death, the ocean and centipedes. In “Fearing Future Reflection,” she explores the fear of growing old, which she said is a fear she sees in the adults around her. “Every time you look in the mirror, it’s mocking you back that it’s going to come. It’s inevitable,” she said. “So every time you look in the mirror, you see a new wrinkle. You see a new blemish as you age older and older. It’s mocking you because it’s going to come whether you like it or not.” Another piece on which she worked in school was for the fear of the unknown. It shows someone sitting down looking at their hands in their lap, and another hand in the frame is reaching toward them. “That’s fear of the unknown: being diagnosed

First-place winners ► Kindergarten through second grade: Anne Violet Tucker, kindergarten at Shades Cahaba Elementary: “Parrots in the Jungle” ► Third through fifth grade: Alyanna Cate Baylon, fourth grade at Hall-Kent Elementary: “Under the Starry Night” ► Sixth through eighth grade: Evelyn Frohsin, eighth grade at Indian Springs School: “VP Kennedy” ► Ninth through 12th grade: Phoebe Reed, 11th grade at Homewood High School: “Fearing Future Reflection” View all of the submissions online at homewoodlibrarypix.org/ kids/5th-annual-student-artcontest-virtual-2021.

with a terminal illness because you don’t know where that’s going to go or what the future will look like for you.” The series has helped Reed grow as an individual, she said. “It made me realize that so many other people fear these things,” she said. “I’m growing with the paintings as I’m making them. I was also fearing personal fears as I created it, and as I created it and learned more about it, it helped me overcome them. I guess it’s a personal growing experience and finding myself

through these different paintings that I’m making.” Reed said it was difficult to select a piece to enter into the art contest. This year, the library received the highest number of submissions to date, with almost 200 entries. “We’ve watched this event grow each year, and honestly, we had no idea how successful moving the contest online would be,” said Judith Wright, teen librarian and assistant

director at the library. “This is a testament to the impact art has on children and teens. These students took the uncertainty and stress from the last year and challenged it into creating art.” For those who want to get into art, Reed said they shouldn’t focus on comparing themselves to other people. “Create what you’re feeling and curious about,” she said. “That will inspire you more to make your own, unique creations.”

Homewood High student earns Eagle Scout rank with K9 project Reuben Jon “Ben” Noerager, a member of Scouts BSA Troop 79 at All Saints’ Episcopal Church, has achieved the rank of Eagle Scout, the highest rank attainable in Scouts BSA. For his Eagle Scout service project, Noerager worked with Homewood Police Department K-9 handler Officer Jordan Suggs and his K-9 Vulcan to build a scent detection wall for the K-9 Unit. The scent wall is used to train K-9s to detect different odors such as narcotics. Noerager began his Scouting journey as a Tiger Cub in 2011 with Cub Scout Pack 279 at All Saints’, where he earned the Arrow of Light award. He crossed over from Cub Scouts and joined Troop 79 in 2016. During the course of following the trail to Eagle Scout, Noerager has participated in many fun and Ben Noerager with Homewood Police Department K-9 exciting adventures including attending Sea Base high handler Officer Jordan Suggs and Vulcan. Photo courtesy of adventure camp in Florida Janie Shelswell-White/Homewood Police Foundation. where he snorkeled, fished and helped sail the 75-foot schooner “Grand waters of Minnesota and Philmont Scout Ranch in New Mexico. Nellie” around the Florida Keys for a week. Noerager is a sophomore at Homewood Noerager’s leadership skills have been honed by attending the National Youth Lead- High School, where he is on the junior varsity ership Training program and through serving soccer team. He is also a member of All Saints’ as patrol leader and senior patrol leader with Episcopal Church. He will formally be presented with the Troop 79. He is also a member of the Order Eagle Scout award at a Court of Honor cereof the Arrow. This summer he will attend both Northern mony at All Saints’ Episcopal Church. Tier high adventure camp in the boundary – Submitted by Brett Noerager.

Mr. Peanut teamed up with former Alabama resident Eric Hardy to donate $100,000 to the Red Cross so the organization can continue to go “a nut above” and serve the Birmingham community. Photo courtesy of Allyson Toolan.

NUTmobile presents $100,000 check to Birmingham Red Cross Mr. Peanut teamed up with former Alabama resident Eric Hardy to donate $100,000 to the Red Cross so the organization can continue to go “a nut above” and serve the Birmingham community. Mr. Peanut and the NUTmobile presented Hardy with the check at a Red Cross sponsored blood drive at the Homewood Community Center on May 14. At the event, fans and media viewed the check presentation, visited the blood drive, saw the iconic NUTmobile, met Mr. Peanut and received some Planters snacks. Hardy is the winner of the Planters Pick ’Em Challenge and selected the Red Cross organizations to receive the charity donation. The challenge put football fans to the test by having them predict who would win football championship games for the chance to

win a cash prize of $100,000 and make a donation in the same amount to the charity of their choice. The Planters Pick ’Em Challenge is part of Mr. Peanut's commitment to “shellebrate” those who have gone “a nut above” for their communities. Planters will continue to use its entire Big Game budget of $5 million to recognize and reward acts of extraordinary substance throughout the remainder of the year. With approximately half of the budget remaining, Planters is still committed to celebrating individuals who have made their communities a little less “nutty” in the coming months. For more information or to find the nearest NUTmobile, visit plantersnutmobile. com. – Submitted by Allyson Toolan.


TheHomewoodStar.com

June 2021 • B17

Opinion Ordinary Days By Lauren Denton

Learning to take each scary step I was walking through the neighthe scary world of middle school, borhood the other day when I saw so the only logical outcome was a woman who nearly stopped me that Jesus would come on back and in my tracks. She was walking out rescue me from the need to figure of her house with two young chilout those particular eggshells. dren, one of whom was holding an Well, here we are in June, and energetic one-sided conversation sixth grade officially begins in less with his mom, blissfully unaware than three months, and unless Jesus that the mom was simultaneously has something big planned for this wrangling a second child, who was summer, I think come August I’ll crying, and keeping a small dog officially be a parent who feels Denton from running out the door while completely out of her comfort zone. she pulled the wagon through. But when I think about it, I’ve been out of The mom had her hair up on top of her my comfort zone since day one of parenthood. head, some form of sweatpants on and a look Before that, even. of quiet determination on her face. While I was When I was much younger, and even in our watching (and trying not to look like I was star- early years of marriage, I thought there was ing), she hoisted the crying child on her hip, no possible way I’d ever actually be pregnant deftly scooted the dog back inside the gate and because it just seemed so far-fetched, something answered whatever question her talkative child that happened to people who were way more was asking her. mature and adult than I was. Well, pregnancy did And all the while, I wondered, how did I get end up happening, and then lo and behold, there from there to here? was this little baby for whom I was expected Because, truly, wasn’t it just yesterday that I to know how to care. But as all parents know, was home with my two kids, getting one dressed you can take all the prenatal classes, read all for a big day at preschool and readying the other the books, have all the best-laid plans, but the for a storytime at the library? Or piling both little first night you’re home with that little baby, all bitties into our red wagon for a spin around the those plans and guidelines fly out the window block? Pouring milk into a sippy cup? Whisperand all you can do is hang on by your teeth. So, ing prayers for a good, solid naptime? And now I yeah, I pretty much entered parenthood out of find myself with one kid staring at middle school my comfort zone. in the face, and I can’t believe 11½ years have And at each step since Kate’s infancy, and flown by so fast. Sela’s, too, I’ve felt mostly unprepared for what I used to pray that Jesus would return before came next. Leaving the security of diapers and middle school. I’m not even kidding a little. moving into uncharted waters (no pun intended) Back when my oldest, Kate, was a baby, and of potty training? Scary step. Leaving the secuthen a toddler, I thought there was no way rity of our day-in, day-out routine of home life I could ever be prepared or mature or ready and starting preschool? Scary step. Leaving the enough to deal with a child of mine entering security of preschool for the elementary school

down the street? Yet another scary step. Do you see a pattern here? Each step that at first seemed so scary and treacherous became the place that felt secure, and somehow I became the person I never thought I would be: the parent who waded through potty-training with somewhat dry floors and the parent who figured out what it took to make it through those early years of toddlerhood and monotony (namely a lot of prayer, some tears, some 5 p.m. cocktails and great next-door neighbors). The preschool parent who sang “Down By the Bay” in my sleep and filled our dress-up box with princess dresses and dinosaur tails and the elementary school parent who learned to negotiate the maze of the pick-up alley and even became a room parent. And here I am taking another step that, I’ll admit, feels pretty scary. My baby has already said goodbye to her elementary school, and in a couple of months, I’ll be initiated into the club of parents of kids who have left the security of elementary school and gone onto the big, scary middle school up the street. I never thought I’d be here, but here is where we are. My head tells me this, too, will become a place of security and joy, a place where we learn the routines and ins and outs and dos and don’ts. But at the moment, my heart is telling me we got here way too fast. When I’m not writing about my family and our various shenanigans, I write novels and go to the grocery store. My novels are in stores and online. You can reach me by email at lauren@lauren kdenton.com, visit my website, lauren kdenton.com, or find me on Instagram @LaurenKDentonBooks, Twitter @LaurenK Denton, or on Facebook ~LaurenK DentonAuthor.

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The Homewood Star

B18 • June 2021

Calendar Homewood Events June 5: Streetfest. All day, rain or shine. Patriot Park in West Homewood. This community event free to the public will have rides, games, inflatables, live music and food trucks. Nearby streets

will begin closing around noon, and the festival will end around 8:30-9 p.m. Visit the West Homewood Neighborhood Associations Facebook page for more information.

Tuesdays starting June 1: West Homewood Farmer’s Market. 5-8 p.m. 160 Oxmoor Road. During its 11th season, the market will feature a variety of fruits and vegetables, meats,

eggs, cheese, micro-greens, cauliflower, peppers, bread, baked goods and more. More than 30 vendors will participate and be socially distanced 10 feet apart. Visit westhomewood.com.

Homewood Public Library Events VIRTUAL CHILDREN’S PROGRAMS June 1 through July 31: Tails and Tales 2021 Summer Reading. Up to fifth grade. This summer’s participants choose how many books they want to listen to or read. Log books and pick up a summer reading bag from the library starting June 1. Once a participant’s goal is reached, they can come by the library July 6-31 to pick up a prize. June 1: Tween Book Club. 4-5 p.m. Rising fourth through seventh graders. This virtual book club will feature books that focus on hot topics in the world today. June’s book is “Black Brother, Black Brother” by Jewell Parker Rhodes. Suspended unjustly from elite Middlefield Prep, Donte Ellison studies fencing with a former champion, hoping to put the racist fencing team captain in his place. Tuesdays: Tails and Tales. 10-10:45 a.m. All ages. Learn all about different types of animals. Each week will feature a different guest including Greater Birmingham Humane Society, 6th Day Creatures and Dauphin Island Sea Lab. Register for each week at homewoodpubliclibrary.org to receive webinar link. Wednesdays: Storytime Live. 10-10:30 a.m. Preschool. Join a Homewood storyteller for an animal-filled live storytime. Register for each week at homewoodpubliclibrary.org to receive webinar link. Fridays: Fun Pick-Up. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. All ages. Come by the library to pick up a challenge sheet one week and a craft kit the next, while supplies last. Challenge sheets can be turned in for a chance to win a prize pack. June 24: Cookies & Comics – Fairytales. 6-7 p.m. Rising third through seventh graders. Talk comics with friends from the Homewood Public Library in Homewood, Illinois. This month’s Cookies & Comics will feature fairytales. A cookie from Cookie Fix will be provided on the day of the program. Register by the Wednesday before the program to be guaranteed cookies. Zoom link will be sent via email. VIRTUAL TEEN PROGRAMS May 24 through Aug. 7: Teen Summer Series. Rising sixth through 12th graders. This year the Homewood Public Library will give away two $150 gift cards. Teens can enter to win one gift card via the virtual reading challenge on Beanstack. Beginning May 24, sign up at homewood .beanstack.org or download the Beanstack Tracker App to log books online, complete virtual activities and earn badges. Enter to win the second gift card in person. Receive one entry for every three teen materials (books, graphic novels and audiobooks) checked out from the Homewood Public Library between May 24 and Aug. 7. Bring a checkout receipt to the Teen/Adult Services Desk to receive an entry slip.   June 1-July 31: Teen Land Art Photo Contest. Rising sixth through 12th graders. Land Art uses elements of the land or natural materials to create art. Rocks, leaves, flowers, trees and fruit

are all examples of elements that can be arranged to create unique art. Snap a photo of work for entry. Teens can submit two original photographs for entry. Entries can be submitted via the library’s website. For more information, contact Judith Wright at judith.wright@homewoodpubliclibrary.org. June 1-5: Avocado Pillow. Rising sixth through 12th graders. Create a fluffy avocado pillow. All supplies and instructions provided within the kit. Kits can be picked up June 1-5 within the Teen Department or via curbside (Monday, Wednesday and Friday only). A reminder will be sent closer to June 1 with pickup instructions. Register online to reserve your kit. June 3: Teen Drawing Class – Anime. 2-3 p.m. Rising sixth through 12th graders. A virtual drawing class with artist Corinne Roberts. Register online for Zoom information. June 3: Teen Advisory Board. 6-7 p.m. The Teen Advisory Board will meet via Zoom. TAB members will receive the Zoom meeting information a few days before the meeting. Interested in applying for TAB? Apply at homewoodpubliclibrary. org/tab-application. June 5: Virtual ACT Math Boot Camp. 2:30-4 p.m. A 1.5-hour boot camp session that will help participants tackle the math portion of the ACT test with confidence. $15 per teen (including fees). Register online. Contact Judith Wright with questions at judith.wright@homewoodpubliclibrary.org. June 8: Harry Potter and the Fantastic Beasts. 3-4 p.m. Rising sixth through 12th graders. From Basilisks to Hippograffs, learn all about the fantastic beasts in the Harry Potter world. Register online by June 2 and receive an email June 3 with details of picking up the supplies. Kits can be picked up within the Teen Department or via curbside (Monday, Wednesday and Friday only). June 10: Virtual ACT English/Reading Boot Camp. 6-7:30 p.m. A 1.5-hour virtual boot camp session that will help participants tackle the English and reading portion of the ACT test with confidence. $15 per teen (including fees). Register online. Contact Judith Wright with questions at  judith.wright@homewoodpubliclibrary.org. June 14 and 23: Online ACT Practice Test with Princeton Review. 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. both sessions. Rising sixth through 12th graders. Try a full-length free practice ACT test online. This practice test is offered by Princeton Review. After the practice test, participants receive a comprehensive score report detailing strengths and weaknesses. Register online. June 17: Teen Tiny Art. 3-4 p.m. Rising sixth through 12th graders. Make a masterpiece with a 3-by-3-inch canvas. All supplies provided. Register online by June 10 and receive an email June 11 with pickup details. Register online. June 22: Teen Drawing Class: Dragons. 2-3 p.m. Rising sixth through 12th graders. A virtual drawing class all about dragons with artist Corinne Roberts. Register online for Zoom information.

VIRTUAL ADULT PROGRAMS Mondays: Virtual Library Yoga with Jackie Tally. 2-3 p.m. Free yoga classes sponsored by Homewood Public Library. A gentle workout of 15 minutes in the chair, 15 minutes standing with chair and 15 minutes on the mat. All levels of fitness welcome. Register online. June 1: Not Your Mama’s Book Club – Looking at Goddess Energy. 2-3:30 pm. No book reading required, discussion group only. Jungian psychoanalyst Lucie Magnus, will present on goddess energies in human beings, particularly in women. She will look at primarily Greek goddesses and figures in the arts to discriminate the varying energies that each embodies. Register online. June 2: Niki Sepsas presents “Pirates & Piracy – Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow.” 2-3 p.m. Considered by historians to be the “third oldest profession,” piracy on the oceans of the world today remains a major problem for maritime commerce. What steps are being taken to combat the menace in some of the world’s most dangerous oceans? Register online. Zoom meeting information will be sent closer to the event.   June 4: Hydrangeas 101 with Master Gardener Karen Mitchell. Noon-1 p.m. Master Gardener Karen Mitchell gives tips on how to help hydrangeas flourish in a garden. Register online. June 5: Virtual Wine and Cheese Tasting with Smiley Brothers. 6:30-7:30 p.m. A virtual wine tasting right in the comfort of a participant’s own home. Smiley Brothers has prepared a three-bottle package that can be purchased through them that will cost $60 (includes one white, one rose, one red). A cheese platter can be added for $15 (enough for two). There will also be a bonus wine available for anyone interested (purchase price $65 dollar range). All the wines have been discounted from original prices. Criss Smiley, owner of Smiley Brothers Specialty Foods, will be the guide for the wine and cheese tasting. Register online. June 8: Virtual Crafting Circle. 10-11:30 a.m. Knit, embroider, crochet, smock, tat, cross stitch, handsew and more. Talk about new craft books, show off current or finished objects and chat about our needlecrafts. A come-and-go event. Register online. Zoom invitation will be sent out the Monday before each event. June 8: Oxmoor Page Turners Book Club – “The Summer House.” 6:30-8 p.m. “The Summer House” weaves Lauren K. Denton’s inviting Southern charm around a woman’s journey to find herself. Register online. Zoom meeting information will be sent closer to the event.

June 10: The Virtual Social Justice Book Club. 6:30-7:30 p.m. This book club provides a space for thoughtful conversation on issues of social justice and activism. Themes will include racial justice, immigration and LGBTQ rights. Members are welcome to suggest specific titles and topics to explore. To register, contact Elizabeth at superpowerlistening@gmail.com. June 15: The ABCs of Medicare. 10-11 a.m. and 2-3 p.m. Karen Haiflich will answer questions about how benefits are computed, how to become insured and how to file a claim. Register online. June 17: Homewood Senior Center Book Club – “The Astronauts Wives Club.” 1-2 p.m. Discuss Lily Koppel’s “The Astronaut Wives Club.” Register online. Zoom meeting information will be sent closer to the event. June 23: Miniature Painting With September Reed. 11 a.m. September Reed shows how to paint a masterpiece at home. The library will charge a $10 fee. Register online (limit of 20) and pick up a paint kit at curbside. June 29: Dixie’s Pet Loss Support Group. 6-7:30 p.m. Sponsored by the Greater Birmingham Humane Society. Participation is free; for reservations, contact GBHS Volunteer Coordinator Randy Hicks at 205-542-7111. June 30: Better Than Therapy Book Club – “Ask Again, Yes.” 2-3:30 p.m. Explore the tale of two families linked by chance, love and tragedy. Register online. VIRTUAL TECH CLASSES June 2: Introduction to PowerPoint 2016 – Part 1. 2:30-3:30 p.m. Learn to create presentations using basic PowerPoint functions. Register online. June 9: First Step Wednesdays – Get the Most Out of Your iPad and iPhone! 2:30-4 p.m. This workshop is geared toward casual users. Apple-certified trainers answer questions on how best to use an Apple device. Register online. June 9: Introduction to PowerPoint 2016 – Part 2. 2:30-3:30 p.m. This class focuses on learning how to enhance presentations. Register online. June 16: Introduction to Excel 2016 – Part 1. 2:30-3:30 p.m. Learn how to create spreadsheets and use basic Excel functions. Register online.

Business news Business ne to share? June 9: Credit & Money Management. 11 a.m. Join financial well-being coach Penny Southward for this workshop that will help consumers take control of their finances by learning how to create a budget, reduce and pay off debt, understand their credit reports and increase their savings. Presented by Operation HOPE in partnership with Regions Bank. Register online.

Business news to share?

June 23: Introduction to Excel 2016 – Part 2. 2:30-3:30 p.m. This class deals primarily with the creation of graphs and formula use. Register online.

June 24: iProduct Master Class. 2:30-4 p.m. Apple-certified trainers of Connect It! take a deep dive into the settings for iOS devices. Register online.

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TheHomewoodStar.com

June 2021 • B19

Homewood

Parks & Recreation

Classes & Activities Dance Trance

Tues & Thurs 5:45pm-6:45pm Mon, Wed, Sat 9:30am-10:30am Homewood Community Center Dance Trance is a high-cardio, highenergy dance fitness experience that leaves participants soaking wet!  It is a non-stop workout that feels more like a party than an exercise class. www.dancetrancefitness.com

North Star Martial Arts

North Star Martial Arts primary focus is to make a life lasting impact on our students, and their families. Classes range from beginners to adults. For detailed class listings and times please visit the park’s website or www.northstarkarate.com 205-966-4244 masterjoe@northstarkarate.com

Bench Aerobics Step & Line Dance Class Times & Location Tuesday: 4:15pm – 5:15pm (Step Aerobics) Thursday: 4:15pm – 5:15pm (Cardio Line Dance) All classes in Fitness Studio 2 @ Homewood Community Center Cost: $15/month or $3/drop-in (1st class FREE) For more information contact Rosa at 205-253-9344 or benchaerobics@bellsouth.net

Belly Dancing with Aziza

Class Fee: $60 cash only Contact Aziza: 205-879-0701 azizaofbirmingham@att.net www.azizaofbirmingham.com Learn the ancient art of Middle Eastern belly dance with Aziza, over 40 years of experience in performance and instruction. Each session is 5-weeks long held at Homewood Community Center.

Royce Head Personal Training

Affordable personal training available to members in the Fitness Center at the Homewood Community Center. Workouts are fast, fun, safe, and effective and each person is started with a program to fit their fitness level. Call Royce for more information: (205) 945-1665

YoLimber

Vinyasa yoga classes in an energetic environment using upbeat music at Homewood Community Center. All levels welcome. Tuesday 8:00am-9:00am Friday 9:30am-10:30am Contact Marla: 205-223-8564 mac@yolimber.com

Ballet Summer Camp with Claire Goodhew

Beginning ballet moves taught as a foundation for many types of dance. Students will work on coordination, balance, rhythm and flexibility while developing listening skills and strengthening muscles. June 21st – 24th at Homewood Community Center 2:45pm-3:30 pm Pre K & Kindergarten 3:30pm-4:15 pm 1st – 5th grades For more Information call Claire Goodhew: (205) 879-8780

Confi.Dance

Confi.Dance is a dance class in a small group setting to teach you the secrets of looking good on the dance floor and having more fun than you thought possible. Class Meets:  Wednesday 2:00pm – 3:00pm at Homewood Community Center For more information: Jackie Tally jgtally@aol.com

Central Barre

Tuesday: 6:15am – 7:15am Saturday: 8:15am – 9:15am All classes in Fitness Studio 2 @ Homewood Community Center

Homewood Senior Center Now open for scheduled classes and programs. For more information visit: www.homewoodparks.com

Misc. Information Summer 2021 Pool Information

For summer pool information: membership, hours of operation, swim team, party rentals, etc. Please visit: www.homewoodparks.com

Homewood Youth Football and Cheer

Register now for the Fall 2021 Season. Homewood Youth Football and Cheer oversee youth tackle football and cheerleading for the Homewood community. www.homewoodyouthfootball.org

Homewood Flag Football

Registration Begins: Mid-July 2021 Age Divisions: 1st Grade – 6th Grade For more information visit: www.homewoodparks.com

July 4th Festival Sunday, July 4th 2021 5:00pm-9:00pm Downtown Homewood

Follow us for athletics, community centers programming and event updates @homewood.parks

@homewood_parks

@homewoodparks


BIRMINGHAM OWNED AND LOCALLY OPERATED SINCE 1994 MEMORIAL DAY SALE 5/9 THROUGH 6/7

Our Best Selling Mattress YORK STREET

★ Save $500 ★

799

QUEEN

$

TWIN

King or Queen Mattress • Triple Choice: Extra Firm, Cushion Firm, or Plush Pillowtop

HYBRID

$

★ Save $800 ★

1099

Q

T

King or Queen Mattress Pocketed Coils • Smooth Quilted Design Alabaster

Gardendale

Greystone

Homewood

Target Shopping Center

Fieldstown Road next to AutoZone

Highway 280 next to Driver’s Way

28th Avenue South next to TCBY Yogurt

631-2322

408-0280

802-8888

621-7010

Hoover

Hoover

Hwy 31 across from Crest Cadillac

Hwy. 150 Across from CarMax

979-7274

982-8006

Hueytown Allison-Bonnett Memorial Dr.

744-4948

Inverness

Hwy 280 between Subway & Studio 21

739-2339

Leeds In Front of Walmart and Lowes

699-7000

McCalla

Tannehill Promenade Next to Publix

426-1833

Mtn. Brook Shops of Montevallo Montevallo Road

956-8033

Pelham

Trussville

Trussville

Vestavia

Pelham Pkwy. Across from Valley Elem.

Gadsden Hwy. Across from Starbucks

Chalkville Mtn. Rd. between Sam’s & Kmart

Next door to Honey Baked Ham

663-2337

661-6200

655-6906

978-3068

Bedzzz Express Outlet Greystone

Bedzzz Express Outlet Pelham

Hwy. 280 Next to Issis & Sons

3 Doors South of Pee Wee’s Pawn

408-1250

664-0096

Buy Local. Buy Online. Same Low Prices. Open Monday - Friday 10am - 7pm • Saturday 9am - 6pm • Sunday 1pm - 6pm bedzzzexpress.com

*Some promotions may be limited to select sets. Not responsible for errors in ad copy. Quantities and selections may vary by location. Mattress images are for illustration purposes only Gifts with purchase (including gift cards and rebates) are not valid with any other promotions except special financing for 6 or 12 months. 0% APR for 60 months financing available with purchases of $1999 or over and does not include sales tax. **Monthly payment is based on purchase price alone excluding tax and delivery charges. Credit purchases subject to credit approval. Other transactions may affect the monthly payment. ***The Nationwide Marketing Group credit card is issued by Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. Special terms apply to qualifying purchases charged with approved credit. The special terms APR will continue to apply until all qualifying purchases are paid in full. The monthly payment for this purchase will be the amount that will pay for the purchase in full in equal payments during the promotional (special terms) period. The APR for Purchases will apply to certain fees such as a late payment fee or if you use the card for other transactions. For new accounts, the APR for Purchases is 28.99%. If you are charged interest in any billing cycle, the minimum interest charge will be $1.00. This information is accurate as of 5/9/2021 and is subject to change. For current information, call us at 1-800-431-5921. Offer expires 6/7/2021. **** Free base offer applies to Queen set purchase of $699 and above or King set purchase $999 and above. King base applies to either one horizontal King Base or one of two TXL bases.***** Free Delivery on mattress sets $699 and up, Local area.

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Homewood Star June 2021  

Homewood Star June 2021  

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